Oct 10, 2018

Tesco chief Dave Lewis tells court of profits 'shock'

Tesco's chief executive has told a court of his "Genuine shock" on learning of the £250m overstatement of the company's profits. Dave Lewis told Southwark Crown Court he had "No indication at all" of the issue until brought to his attention by the supermarket's legal department. Tesco's shares tumbled by nearly 12%, wiping £2bn off the value of the company, when Britain's biggest supermarket announced in September 2014 that the previous month it had overstated profits by about £250m. Mr Lewis said his initial reaction to learning about the overstatement was "One of genuine shock, the level of what was implied in the paper was a way of operating I had not ever seen before". Mr Lewis said former Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent cut short his holiday in Italy when he was told what had happened. Chris Bush, ex-UK managing director, and John Scouler, the then-UK food commercial director, were allegedly aware that income was being wrongly included in the company's financial records to meet targets and make Tesco look financially healthier than it was.

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