CARDIFF, Wales, June 30 (UPI) -- Top executives at British retail chain Tesco said the company would retreat from its U.S. beachhead if it continued to lose money.
"If we see there is no chance of success, we'll do as we've just done in Japan," said Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke at an annual shareholder meeting.
"It is not about ego, we are businessmen," he said.
The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday that Tesco lost $240.3 million in 2011 through its Fresh & Easy grocery chain on the west coast. In the previous year, it lost $292.1 million in its U.S. enterprise.
At the meeting, a shareholder consulting firm called Change to Win Investment Group, challenged Tesco executives to form a non-executive committee to set financial targets for its U.S. venture and to pull back if the targets are not reached.
"We will not be doing that," said Chairman Richard Broadbent.
"Investors will no doubt be troubled that the company seems calmly willing to continue making losses in the U.S., as it has since the launch in 2007," said Change to Win representative Michael Zucker at Change after the meeting.
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