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Monday, 14 May, 2001, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Tesco to spend 2.25bn in Asia
Tesco Chief Executive Terry Leahy
It's all smiles for Mr Leahy at Tesco's Asian operations
The UK's biggest supermarket chain Tesco plans to invest about 2.25bn ($3.2bn) in Asia, with $2.1bn being spent in South Korea, over the next four years.

Group chief executive Terry Leahy told a press conference in Seoul that the company will invest 700bn won ($538m) annually until 2005 after spending 500bn won last year on building its Korean operations.

The supermarket giant is one of the UK's few retailers to have made a success of international expansion, with stores throughout Europe and others in Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan, reporting substantial sales and profit increases.

Last month Tesco reported profits of more than 1bn for the first time.

Asian interests

Tesco has an 81% stake in the Samsung-Tesco joint venture, which operates Homeplus supermarkets.

Mr Leahy, who is in Seoul to mark the second anniversary of Homeplus, said the number of stores in South Korea will grow from seven to 13 by the end of this year.

He expects that there to be 55 stores in operation - opening at the rate of 10 a year - by 2005.

Tesco already has 24 stores in Thailand and one in Taiwan and is considering starting businesses in Japan, China and Malaysia.

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See also:

10 Apr 01 | Business
Tesco profits top 1bn
10 Apr 01 | Business
Tesco: East End to East Asia
09 Apr 01 | Business
The billion pound grocer
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