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• As expected, just months before opening its first US stores, UK-based Tesco PLC announced that last year’s annual profits increased 20.5 percent to the equivalent of $3.76 billion (US), on sales that were up 8.1 percent to $84.7 billion.

Tesco operates about 1,500 stores in the United Kingdom and 1,300 in other countries. It is slated to open small-format stores in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada later this year. In the UK, its home market, Tesco has a 30 percent market share…and has to weather constant criticism about whether it has too much power and dominance.

In a statement, CEO Sir Terry Leahy said that the results "demonstrate that we have again made good progress across the group, whilst making significant startup investment in new businesses and coping well with challenging conditions in some markets…We are pleased with the early performance from Tesco Direct (the company’s online business) and our plans to open stores in the U.S. later this year are on track.”
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