Charles Wilson (left) and Dave Lewis

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Tesco (TSCO) has announced that upon completion of the merger with Booker, the wholesaler’s boss Charles Wilson will be appointed as CEO of its retail and wholesale operations in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Matt Davies will continue as CEO of UK & ROI until completion, when he will step down and after supporting a handover, will leave the group at the end of April 2018.

Dave Lewis commented: “I am delighted Charles will be joining the Tesco board and executive committee. He brings substantial commercial and retail experience and has an exceptional track record of increasing performance and driving growth in customer-focused businesses. Charles is ideally suited to lead the UK & ROI business for the combined group in the next phase of our turnaround.

“I would also like to thank Matt for his outstanding contribution to Tesco over the last three years. His values based leadership and invaluable support have been instrumental to the significant progress we have made in the transformation of the UK & ROI business. I wish him well for the future.”

The supermarket confirmed the move in a short statement to the stock market this morning, ahead of the publication of a prospectus relating to its £3.7bn takeover of Booker later today.

The document will contain information on the background and reasons for its proposed merger with Booker Group.

Within the circular, Tesco will also confirm that since its Christmas trading update on 11 January it continue to trade in line with expectations.

It now expects to deliver group operating profits before exceptional items of “at least” £1.575bn for the year to 24 February 2018.

Tesco will also pay a final dividend of 2p per share if approved at the 2018 Tesco AGM.

Morning update

The FTSE 100 has opened down 1.2% to 7,356.1pts after heavy share price falls on Friday in the US on worries inflation is heating up as wage growth grows. International markets have followed suit and the FTSE has lost more than 4% over the past week.

Most stocks are on the slide this morning. Amongst the biggest grocery movers are Hotel Chocolat (HOTC), down 5.5% to 290p, McColl’s (MCLS), down 4.1% to 268.7p, Majestic Wine (WINE), down 4.3% to 427.5p, Ocado (OCDO), back 3% to 503.2p and Conviviality (CVR), down another 2.9% to 297p.

The biggest grocery FTSE 100 fallers are Coca-Cola HBC (CCH), down 1.8% to 2,304p, Unilever (ULVR), down 1.5% to 3,980.5p and Diageo (DGE), down 1.3% to 2,482p.

The handful of risers include Hilton Food Group (HFG), up 1.7% to 844p and Devro (DVO), up 1.2% to 216p.

This week in the City

Ocado (OCDO) kicks off the week in earnest tomorrow as it releases its full year results in the wake of a rapid share price rise over recent weeks after signing crucial international supply deals in France and Canada.

Wednesday sees FTSE 100 tobacco giant Imperial Brands (IMB) hold its annual general meeting, while GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) issues its fourth quarter figures.

On Thursday, catering giant Compass Group (CPG) issues a trading statement ahead of its AGM, while Tate & Lyle (TATE) will release its third quarter trading numbers and in the US there are Q4 updates from Philip Morris and Kellogg’s (K).

In economic news, the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales are out first thing tomorrow morning, while 8am will bring the release of the monthly Kantar Worldpanel and Nielsen grocery market share figures.

The Bank of England will set make its monthly interest rate decision on Thursday, with economists predicting further rises in 2018 though probably not this week. UK balance of trade figures are out on Friday, including industrial production and manufacturing.

The Grocer Price Index will also be published on Friday, with supermarket price inflation having eased back to below 2% in recent months.