EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive officer of Tesco, London, said in an interview posted on the company's corporate website that the company is "excited about its plans for the U.S. We intend that we'll grow as rapidly as we can, and, if we're right and the thing is as successful as we expect it to be, then we have the potential to develop, in Tesco terms, a very substantial business in the United States." Tesco said recruitment and training of staff for its U.S. stores will begin soon. The company is using the website it launched last week -- www.freshandeasy.com -- to recruit employees. For the fiscal year that ended Feb. 24, Tesco said sales rose 10.9% to $77.1 billion (U.S.) and profits rose 20.5% to $38.1 million. The company said it will begin formal reporting of U.S. performance "separately within our international operations from opening." Also, Tesco USA is scheduled to unveil a rendering of its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market next Wednesday during a press briefing in Las Vegas.
-- Elliot Zwiebach