Tesco has made job cuts at its loss-making Fresh & Easy chain in the US as it scales back new store openings.

It is thought that Tesco has made about 50 roles redundant at the HQ in El Segundo, Los Angeles. Fresh & Easy employs about 5,200 people.

Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said in April that store openings were on hold at Fresh & Easy as the grocer focuses on making the existing store estate profitable.

Tesco said it expected Fresh & Easy to break even by February 2014, rather than February 2013 as previously expected.

A Tesco spokesman told the Financial Times: “In April we said we are taking a more cautious approach to expanding Fresh & Easy, focusing on getting existing stores to profitability.

“Our central cost base should reflect that more cautious approach. With great regret, this means that we have to make redundancies at Fresh & Easy headquarters in California.

“This is not with a view to a sale or closure of the business. We remain committed to reach profitability and these changes are about helping to achieve that.”

Former Tesco finance director Andrew Higginson sold more than £400,000 of share in the grocer yesterday. Higginson was appointed chairman of Poundland and N Brown earlier this month.