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Retail Giant Tesco Overstated Its Profits by $408 Million

LONDON -- The world's third-largest retailer lowered its forecast for first-half profit by 250 million pounds ($408.50 million) after finding a fault in its accounts. Tesco, which is Britain's biggest grocer and boasts more than 500,000 employees, said its Aug. 29 profit warning overstated expected first half profit by 23 percent.

Tesco has asked Deloitte to undertake an independent and comprehensive review of the issues, working closely with Freshfields, its external legal advisers. "We have uncovered a serious issue and have responded accordingly," chief executive Dave Lewis said on Monday. "The chairman and I have acted quickly to establish a comprehensive independent investigation." Four executives have also been suspended.

Image: Tesco store in Northwich, England
Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket chain, has commissioned Deloitte to conduct an independent investigation into an accounting error. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images, file
- Reuters