Tesco sign

Ken Murphy takes the helm at Britain’s biggest supermarket today

Ken Murphy replaces Dave Lewis at Britain’s biggest supermarket on Thursday and faces investors next week. The Telegraph looks at the four things in the new Tesco chief’s in-tray.

Tesco’s new boss takes over today with shares languishing – and online rival Ocado nipping at its heels (The Mail).

The stock market value of 20-year-old Ocado is now greater than that of the 100-year-old supermarket giant Tesco – a change that could reflect the future of the weekly shop (The Guardian).

Ocado was worth £21.7bn against Tesco’s £21.1bn at the end of trading on Tuesday. Both retailers’ share prices fell on Wednesday, with Ocado suffering a steeper decline of about 5%, compared with just over 1% at Tesco (The Financial Times £). That brought Ocado’s market value back down to £20.5bn, fractionally behind Tesco’s £20.8bn.

Morrisons plans to create more than 1,000 jobs to pick and pack orders for its products sold on Amazon (The Times £). The supermarket said it would recruit additional workers to process orders from more than 50 stores around the UK.

Compass Group will return to break-even at a trading level in the fourth quarter following the reopening of units, an increase in volumes and “a relentless focus on efficiencies” (The Times £). However, the world’s biggest catering group reported a 36% decline in organic — or underlying — revenues in the final quarter, an improvement on the 44%t fall suffered in the third quarter but not as big a bounce-back as many had anticipated.

Catering firm Compass believes earnings will still be significantly depressed in the fourth quarter despite receiving a boost from the reopening of schools and business premises in its major markets (The Mail).

Shares in Paypoint fell by 17% yesterday after the energy regulator alleged that it had breached competition law by excluding rivals from the market for a decade (The Times £).

Hammerson, which owns Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre, announced the appointment of Rita-Rose Gagné, who was previously responsible for a $7.6bn portfolio at property company Ivanhoé Cambridge (The Financial Times £). She will take over from David Atkins before the end of this year.

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that drinking a strong, black morning coffee could impair the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels (The Times £).

More than a third of UK employers plan to make staff redundant over the next three months, according to research warning of a cascade of job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic (The Guardian).

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