Tesco's profit up 15% for fiscal first half

London Tesco PLC reported Tuesday that profit for the six months ending Aug. 28 rose by 15%, to $1.87 billion.

The grocer cited recovering economies, particularly in Asia, for the improvement.

Group sales increased 8.3%. Its U.S. concept Fresh & Easy recorded a 47% rise in total sales for the period, as well as a 10% increase in same-store sales.

"The global economic headwinds of the last two years are being replaced by the tailwinds of recovery in most of our markets and this is helping our international businesses to resume strong sales and profit momentum," said CEO Terry Leahy. "Our important Asian markets in particular are emerging strongly from recession and we are now benefiting from the substantial investment we continued to commit to the region during the downturn."

Leahy is stepping down as CEO in March.

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