Tesco Profit Rises 19%

London, Tesco PLC reported a 19% increase for the first half of its fiscal year on Tuesday as a strong performance outside Great Britain and growth in nonfood sales helped offset a slowdown in its core domestic market.

Tesco reported a net profit of 936 million pounds ($1.9 billion) for the 26 weeks ending Aug. 25, compared with 788 million pounds in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 9.1% at 22.6 billion pounds ($46.3 billion).

"We ended the first half strongly with good sales momentum and, with the launch of our Fresh & Easy stores on the West Coast of the United States now just a few weeks away, I am confident we will make further progress in the second half," said CEO Terry Leahy.

The company plans to make its U.S. debut in November, opening a "significant number" of stores across the Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Diego markets. It added that it already has a "substantial number of sites secured for next year and beyond, including a number of regeneration locations."

Tesco expects the U.S. business to break even at the end of its second year of trading.

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