Encouraging signs claimed by Tesco despite massive annual loss

The supermarket giant Tesco has hit the headlines today with its announcement of a £6.4bn annual loss for the 12 months to February 28, largely due to a massive write-down on the value of its property portfolio.

Despite the extreme bottom-line loss, however, the message from the company’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, is that a line has been drawn under the past and that the business is now “seeing some encouraging signs”.

“It has been a very difficult year for Tesco,” said Mr Lewis, adding that the results published today reflect a deterioration in the market and, more significantly, an erosion of the company’s competitiveness over recent years. 

“We have faced into this reality, however, sought to draw a line under the past and begun to rebuild, and already we are beginning to see early encouraging signs from what we’ve done so far.”

Tesco is middle-ranking in terms of its support for British-sourced pork and pigmeat products, according to the latest Porkwatch figures.  The company’s fresh pork status stands at 66% British while its sausage ranking is 80% British. Ham and bacon, meanwhile, come out at 57% and 45% respectively.

According to today’s announcement, Tesco has used the last six months to “put customers back at the centre of everything” it does. 

“By focusing on the fundamentals of availability, service and targeted price reductions, we have seen a steady increase in footfall, transactions and, most significantly, volumes,” said Mr Lewis, adding that, as a result, more customers are buying more things at Tesco.

“The market is still challenging and we are not expecting any let up in the months ahead.  When you add to this the fundamental changes we are making to our business and our offer, it is likely to lead to an increased level of volatility in short-term performance.  Our clear priority is to improve consistently for customers.  The changes we have made and will continue to make put us in a stronger position to do this.”      

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