Tesco has no plans to exit central Europe: chairman

LONDON (Reuters) - British retailer Tesco has no plans to exit its central European operations, Chairman John Allan said on Thursday.

At Tesco’s annual shareholder meeting an investor asked if the group would still own central European operations by December 2020.

“It’s extremely likely,” Allan responded.

“I’ve been taught never say never because things may change but at the moment we have no plans that the board has discussed or approved to exit central Europe,” he said at the meeting held at Tesco’s headquarters in Welwyn, north of London, which was webcast.

Allan said that while Tesco has had problems in Poland, where it has closed stores, in three other countries - Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia - it is market leader or thereabouts and is continuing to invest.

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Alistair Smout