Oct 4, 2017

Tesco ‘whistleblower’ testifies of pressure to meet targets

At the time, the UK's largest supermarket chain was under pressure from discounters such as Lidl and Aldi, but managers were still being asked to meet ambitious targets, Amit Soni told the trial of three former Tesco executives at Southwark Crown Court. Mr Soni testified that all that year, Tesco had been incorrectly pulling forward income from future periods to flatter the company's bottom line, creating a hole in the accounts that was only getting bigger. Mr Soni, who is the first witness in the trial, told the court that the three defendants - and others at Tesco - were aware of the growing gap. He cited an August 2014 meeting of Tesco commercial managers and defendant Chris Bush, who was managing director of Tesco UK, at which a £240m gap in the accounts had been referred to. Mr Soni eventually prepared a report describing the shortfall that was given to the Tesco board.

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