Tesco Offloads Coffee Chain Harris + Hoole to Caffè Nero

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23 Jun 2016 --- Tesco, the UK's biggest supermarket, is selling its coffee chain Harris + Hoole to Caffè Nero, as it looks to focus on its core supermarket business.

The move by Tesco follows similar moves to offload non-core assets, such as Dobbies, the garden chain centre, and the restaurant chain Giraffe.

The news of the sale of Harris and Hoole was announced as Tesco announced that like-for-like-sales were up 0.9 percent for the 13 weeks to 28 May 2016. But this was slower than the 0.9 percent growth in the previous quarter.

Harris + Hoole is 43-strong chain of artisan coffee shops set up in 2013. Tesco initially took a stake in Harris + Hoole before taking over full ownership this year. It had been thought that the move meant that Harris + Hoole factored into the long-term plans of Tesco boss Dave Lewis.

However, Tesco has now decided to sell the chain, in an effort to rid itself of non-core assets.

No financial details of the sale price were disclosed.

In its trading update, Tesco said that its international sales were up three percent in the period powered by performances in Asia and Europe.

Thailand, Slovakia and Hungary were pinpointed as countries which performed well in Q1.

The supermarket is looking to recover under Lewis, who took over nearly two years ago amid falling sales and an accounting scandal which rocked Tesco.

Lewis said: "We have delivered a second quarter of positive like-for-like sales growth across all parts of the Group in what remains a challenging market with sustained deflation. In both the UK and Internationally, we are putting customers at the centre of everything we do and re-configuring our business to serve them a little better every day. Our new fresh food brands are performing very well, with over two-thirds of our customers having bought products from the new range.

We are encouraged by the progress we are making. By growing volumes, transforming the way we work together with our suppliers, and further optimising our store operating model we are rebuilding profitability in a sustainable way.”

“I am confident that the improvements we are making for customers are working and will create long-term value for our shareholders.”

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