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Tesco sells 41 stores to fund new developments

Tesco has sold 41 stores in a sale and leaseback deal that will generate around £950 million towards funding new property development projects, both in the UK and abroad.

Britain’s biggest supermarket chain said the deal was part of its “ongoing programme to release value from its UK property portfolio”.

The high street giant last month named its Europe and Asia chief Philip Clarke to succeed Chief Executive Terry Leahy next March and signalled that it would continue its aggressive global expansion.

Tesco plans to open almost 800,000 sq m of selling space this year. In contrast, rival Morrisons is expanding at a much slower rate, having opened 57 stores since 2007, not including the 34 stores it acquired from the Co-op in 2009.

In the UK the retailer has 2,482 stores which account for more than two-thirds of its revenue, but has over 4,800 stores worldwide.