“Drastic Dave’s Tesco shakeup pays off” writes The Times (£), after Tesco said the “vast majority” of its financial turnaround was complete as it reported a double-digit rise in profits and accelerated dividend growth. “City toasts Tesco’s turnaround king” writes The Daily Mail as Dave Lewis said the supermarket’s turnaround is close to completion after he unveiled a bumper rise in profits.
Tesco has toasted its turnaround by delivering its biggest leap in profits under Dave Lewis, suggesting it has finally drawn a line under the accounting scandal that engulfed the business five years ago (The Telegraph). Tesco has raised its dividend by more than expected as it draws near to achieving the goals of a four-year turnround programme (The Financial Times £).
Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, says shoppers have not changed their behaviour ahead of Brexit and are not stockpiling despite an “uncertain” outlook (The Guardian). Brexit has so far had scant impact on Tesco. Even in nervous times, consumers have to buy food. Investors, however, do not have to buy Tesco’s shares, especially foreigners facing currency risks. (The Financial Times £)
Amazon will be the undoing of UK supermarkets. Or so retail analysts keep saying. But is one UK supermarket now ‘doing an Amazon’? If the supermarket achieved a critical mass from its estimated 17 million Clubcard loyalty scheme members, and fast-growing users of Tesco Pay+ app, that could be a nasty blow for Amazon’s ambitions. (The Financial Times £)
Indivior indictment casts cloud over Reckitt Benckiser, writes The FT. Accusations Indivior illegally elevated prescription sales of its opioid addiction treatment has potentially serious consequences for Reckitt Benckiser as Indivior was a wholly owned subsidiary of the consumer goods giant for the period in which the alleged illegal behaviour occurred (The Financial Times £).
Rakesh Kapoor’s impending departure from the top job at Reckitt Benckiser has taken on new urgency following the disastrous outcome of a spin-off made on his watch. The UK consumer goods group will need to clear the slate (Bloomberg). Reckitt Benckiser Group on Wednesday sought to play down any potential impact to its infant formula business from U.S. litigation against Indivior , which it used to own, saying the risk was theoretical and unlikely (Reuters).
A trade union has promised to fight plans by Asda under which almost 60,000 employees could lose their paid breaks and have to work bank holidays. (The Times £)
A rise in stockpiling activity in the manufacturing sector helped to lift economic growth beyond expectations (The Times £). The UK’s sluggish economic growth has been kept on track by companies rushing to stockpile goods ahead of Brexit, official figures suggest (Sky News).
The company behind Dorset Cereals, Ryvita crispbreads and Silver Spoon sugar was on the menu as the City considered how the food industry has been turned on its head. “Small is the new big,” analysts at Barclays declared in a note. “Mass marketing is being replaced with mass personalisation.” (The Times £)
Chain stores are disappearing from UK high streets at the fastest rate in at least nine years as shoppers switch to buying online and rein in spending. (The Guardian)
Something has to give on the UK’s ailing high streets, writes The FT. Hubris-driven overcapacity is the main issue, but rates and taxes must be reviewed. (The Financial Times £).
A £1m fund to help expand and improve paper cup recycling facilities across the UK will be launched on Thursday by the coffee giant Starbucks and environmental charity Hubbub. (The Guardian)
Walmart is planning to refit another 500 of its stores across the US this year, investing hundreds of millions of dollars to keep bricks and mortar retail relevant in the age of ecommerce. (The Financial Times £)
A “buoyant environment” so far in 2019 helped organic sales at LVMH, the world’s largest luxury group by revenues, outperform market expectations in the first three months of the year, standing up to investor scrutiny over fears of a slowdown in the market. (The Financial Times £)
ConAgra shares rallied during midday trading in New York after the maker of Orville Redenbacher popcorn and Reddi-wip whipped cream cheered investors with an upbeat outlook. (The Financial Times £)