Tesco saw its shares slide this morning (17 April) as the UK’s largest retailer revealed a drop in annual profits and confirmed it will exit the US.
The retail group, which launched a strategic review of its US Fresh & Easy venture last year, has now confirmed it will exit the market. As a result of the move, Tesco has been forced to book a GBP1bn write-down on its US business, which was classified as a discontinued operation.
Pre-tax profits in the year ended 23 February slid 51% to GBP1.96bn. Tesco cited other one-off charges that hit pre-tax profits including a GBP804m write-down in the UK after a property review and a goodwill impairment of GBP495m thanks to the more muted growth outlook in Poland, the Czech Republic and Turkey.
Net profit, including the cost to exit the US, amounted to GBP120m, down 95.7%.
“The announcements made today are natural consequences of the strategic changes we first began over a year ago and which conclude today,” said CEO Philip Clarke. “With profound and rapid change in the way consumers live their lives, our objective is to be the best multichannel retailer for customers.”
Group sales for the year were up 1.3% to GBP72.36bn.
In the UK, where Tesco last year announced a GBP1bn turnaround plan, sales increased by 1.8% to GBP48.22bn, while like-for-like sales fell 0.4%. Trading profit slid 8.3% to GBP2.27bn.
Tesco shares were down 3.6% at 371p at 08:46 BST.
Click here for further analysis of Tesco’s results.