23rd September 2014
Tesco’s accounting troubles saw its shares tumble further today to around half the price they were a year ago.
Sales figures showed it was the worst-performing UK supermarket over the past three months pushing its share price down by a further 4% to 194.5p.
This followed yesterday’s plunge of 11.5%, wiping £1.5 billion off its value, on the damaging news revealed by a whistleblower that the store had over-stated its profit forecast for the first half of the year by £250 million.
The retailer revealed it has secured an early start for its new finance director Alan Stewart , who joined today from Marks & Spencer, in a bid to settle the accounting debacle that has so unsettled investors.
Stewart, who had been due to start in December, has previously worked at Thomas Cook and WH Smith before his position at M&S. He replaces Laurie McIlwee, who resigned in April.
On top of the accounting issues, the supermarket’s poor sales performance lagged that of Morrisons and is believed to be the result of intense competition from the discounters Aldi and Lidl.
There is pressure on Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent to explain the governance failings after the UK managing director and three other senior executives were suspended yesterday.
Dave Lewis, Tesco’s new chief executive, said the full details of the issue would not be known for a month when an investigation by external law and accountancy firms is completed.