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Britain's Tesco announces store closures in shakeup of struggling supermarket chain


LONDON — The troubled Tesco supermarket chain is shuttering 43 stores and moving its headquarters — a series of steps meant to cut costs and improve operations in the wake of an accounting scandal and increased competition.

Tesco, one of the world's biggest retailers, has issued several profit warnings as it struggles to compete in Britain with low-cost rivals such as Aldi and Lidl. Meanwhile, investigations are underway and executives have been suspended over a scandal in which company profits were overstated.

Amid the worries, the retailer revealed Thursday sales declines eased over the key Christmas period, encouraging investors who sent shares up 10 percent to 199.85 pence.

Thursday's report shows like-for-like sales fell 2.9 percent in the 19 weeks to Jan. 3 versus a 5.4 percent drop in the second quarter.

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