British supermarket Tesco slides into first-half loss

7th October 2015, Comments 0 comments

Britain's biggest retailer, supermarket group Tesco, said Wednesday it had fallen into a net loss during its first half, partly on costs linked to an accounting scandal.

Losses after tax stood at £365 million ($557 million, 494 million euros) in the six months to the end of August, compared with a net profit of £6.0 million during the corresponding period a year earlier, Tesco said in an earnings statement.

"We have delivered an unprecedented level of change in our business over the last 12 months and it is working," chief executive Dave Lewis said.

Tesco is seeking to overhaul its business after reporting the biggest annual loss in its near 100-year history of £5.74 billion for the year to February.

The company is also facing a fraud probe after a huge accounting scandal that saw it overstate profits by £263 million owing to errors stretching back to before 2013.

Tesco has additionally been hit by falling sales on fierce competition from low-price supermarket rivals Aldi and Lidl, restructuring charges and writedowns to its property portfolio.

The British group meanwhile last month announced an agreement to sell South Korean unit Homeplus to a consortium led by private equity firm MBK Partners for more than £4.0 billion.

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© 2015 AFP

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