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Tesco report £3.8bn profit but early shares fall by 1%

Record profit due to Asian growth, despite fall in UK sales and US losses.

Tesco has reported 2010/11 profits of £3.8bn - up 12.3% from the previous year. The majority of the profits came from gains its Asian operations -particularly in Thailand and Korea - which rose by 30% to £570m.

This increase off-set a disappointing UK performance for the country's largest retailer. Its like-for-like sales fell by 0.7% in the last quarter in a trend similarly noted by Sainsbury's.

Tesco boss Philip Clarke admitted: "We didn't achieve our planned growth in the year and this was only partly attributable to the deterioration in the consumer environment during the second half."

US losses also worsened in the last year to £186m, though this accounts for less than 1% of total sales.

Echoing Tesco's own disappointment, early trading shares fell by 1%.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.