Tesco has announced the sale of its 301-store business in Poland to Salling Group A/S for a total of £181 million.

The sale includes Tesco’s associated distribution centres and head office,  with total net proceeds expected to be approximately £165 million.

Tesco says it has also made good progress in selling its remaining Polish property outside of the deal with Salling. Over the past 18 months, the company has either sold or agreed to sell 22 stores for around £200m.

Tesco says the move is the next step in a scaling back of international operations, following the sale of its businesses in Malaysia and Thailand.

Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco, said: “We have seen significant progress in our business in Central Europe, but continue to see market challenges in Poland. Today’s announcement allows us to focus in the region on our business in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, where we have stronger market positions with good growth prospects and achieve margins, cashflows and returns which are accretive to the Group.

“I would like to thank all of our Tesco Poland colleagues for their dedication to serving customers in Poland over many years. The energy and commitment they have shown over the past two years transforming Tesco Poland to a two-format business has been incredibly impressive. We see this transaction as the best way to secure the future of the business for our colleagues and customers in Poland.”

Salling Group A/S is owned by the Salling Foundations from Denmark and serves 11 million customers every week across Germany, Poland and Denmark.