// Tesco is reportedly considering the option of selling off its struggling Polish division
// The Big 4 giant has kickstarted the early stages of a review of its Poland operations, according to Bloomberg
// The speculation comes just days before Tesco unveils its half-year results on Wednesday
Tesco is reportedly mulling the idea of selling off its struggling Polish operations, as the Big 4 giant prepares to unveil its interim results on Wednesday.
According to Bloomberg, the UK’s biggest retailer has kickstarted the early stages of a review of its Polish division to help increase focus on its domestic operations in the UK.
However, Tesco might still decide against a sale.
The retailer declined to comment.
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With 348 stores as of June, Poland is Tesco’s largest market out of the batch of central European countries in which it operates.
Tesco’s operations in Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia now all outperform Poland.
Tesco Poland has struggled in recent years due to rising competition and changes to Sunday trading laws.
In its last financial year, it booked an operating loss of £11 million on the back of £1.9 billion in full-year revenue.
Tesco Poland shut down 62 stores last year and began downsizing its largest stores in August, which allowed it to record a small profit in the second half of the year.
The news comes as Tesco prepares to reveal the supermarket’s latest half-year results to the City on Wednesday.
Back in June, group chief executive Dave Lewis laid out his vision for the future of the grocer.
He talked up plans for innovation, including Tesco Finest-only stores, new sites in international markets, and a steady focus on cutting costs, while maintaining profits.
However, as with other supermarkets, the boss is expected to reveal a tough set of numbers for the summer months due to last year’s heatwave and Fifa World Cup causing unfavourable comparisons.
Analysts predict like for like sales in the UK will be flat, with total sales down 0.1 per cent.
Operating profits before one-off costs are forecast to hit £999 million in the UK and Ireland, with £1.33 billion for the entire group.
Lewis is also expected to be grilled on updates on Tesco’s Jack’s discount stores – after one was turned converted into a regular Tesco just one year after opening.
The Jack’s brand was supposed to be the first step to taking on discounters Aldi and Lidl.
Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s recently announced plans to make cost savings of £500 million through cuts to store numbers, integrating some Argos stores into larger Sainsbury’s sites and using more technology to make shopping easier.
Tesco has been making its own cuts this year – swinging the axe at staff and stores with 9000 job losses revealed in January and a further 4500 in August.