Tesco Profits Fall for First Time in 20 Years


British retailer Tesco has announced a fall in pre-tax profits for the year ending Feb. 13. Profits fell 51.5 percent, down to £1.96 billion (U.S. $3 billion) for the company’s first profit decrease in 20 years. The fall came after Tesco wrote off £1 billion against the closure of Fresh 'n Easy (its U.S. operation) £500 million against its operation in Poland, the Czech Republic and Turkey and £804 million against the value of its U.K. property portfolio. Underlying sales in its core U.K. retail business grew just 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter, down from a growth of 1.8 percent in the six weeks leading up to Jan. 5.