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The chairman of Britain's biggest retailer Tesco resigned on Thursday as the troubled supermarket group said a huge accounting error began earlier than thought and contributed to plunging profits. Chairman Richard Broadbent said he would be stepping down after an independent investigation found that Tesco had overstated profits by £263 million ($422 million, 334 million euros) as a result of accounting errors stretching back to before 2013. "The board's immediate focus must be on ensuring that we complete the transition to a new management team and that new and far-reaching business plans are put in place quickly," Broadbent said in a statement that revealed Tesco's net profit had crashed to £6.0 million in its first half from £820 million one year earlier. Tesco, the world's third biggest supermarket group, stunned investors one month ago when it revealed that its profit for the six months to August 23 was overstated by an estimated £250 million.