Asia.CEO Terry Leahy

Tesco PLC said Tuesday that its first-half trading profit (a metric that excludes property gains) climbed to 1.69 billion pounds ($2.67 billion) in the six months ended Aug. 28, as the British grocery giant benefited from recovering economies, particularly in Asia.CEO Terry Leahy said the company’s U.S. division, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, should become profitable in fiscal 2013. A combination of increasing sales per store and a larger network of outlets in California, Arizona and Nevada, will drive the chain to profitability, Leahy said.Fresh & Easy plans to open 19 stores in the second half of the year.

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