Jan 30, 2019

Tesco investors still waiting for Lewis plan to bear fruit

Since Dave Lewis took over at Tesco, the supermarket group has made nine major disposals, one big acquisition, hundreds of operational changes and thousands of redundancies. Mr Lewis set a target of cutting £1.5bn off Tesco's cost base and achieving a 3.5-4 per cent operating margin in its core UK business by the 2019/20 financial year, which ends in February 2020. Referring to the latest job cuts, Douglas Scott, UK equities manager at Kames Capital, a top-50 investor with a holding of about £100m, said the Tesco Mr Lewis inherited "Was built for global domination". One reason investors have not benefited under Mr Lewis was the most recent set of financial results, released in October last year, which missed expectations largely because of problems in Thailand and eastern Europe. The consumer goods giant, where Mr Lewis spent almost three decades before joining Tesco, last year appointed an insider to replace Mr Polman.

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