Tesco CEO Dave Lewis

Tesco is set to take action after Christmas to fend off food shortages unless the government has cut a Brexit deal that ensures the free flow of goods from Europe. But he said the “biggest single challenge” would be the impact of a no-deal exit on deliveries of fresh food from the continent. “The possibility of stockpiling fresh food is very, very limited,” he said. (The Guardian)

It may be “bang on track” in its recovery plan, but Britain’s biggest grocer paid the price yesterday for tripping up in Thailand and Poland (The Times £). Tesco has recorded its highest UK sales growth for a decade, but shares in the supermarket chain fell as tough trading overseas dragged on profits (The Telegraph). The share price decline came as the severity and duration of problems in Poland and Thailand rattled investors and despite more evidence of recovery in Tesco’s core UK and Ireland business (The Financial Times £). Tesco shares have suffered a sharp fall despite an increase in half-year profits as results from the supermarket giant missed expectations (Sky News). Tesco shares have tumbled 8% after the company reported disappointing profits (The BBC).

“Splendid isolationists may feel justified after Tesco’s first-half results on Wednesday revealed further trouble in Thailand,” writes the FT’s Lex column. “But its strategy there still makes sense. Tesco is the number one supermarket in a fast-growing economy, in a region with an expanding middle class.” (The Financial Times £)

Alistair Osborne in The Times (£) ponders whether Tesco CEO Dave Lewis has been given sufficient credit for his four-year turnaround, including the sale of its South Korean and Turkey operations, Dobbies Garden Centres, Giraffe, acquisition of Booker and turnaround of its core UK business. “Yet the stock market is rating all that as a mere £1.2 billion of extra value. It does look a bit mean. And yesterday was par for the course.” (The Times £).

Dave Lewis has helped demonstrate that grocery retail is still going strong, writes The Mail’s Alex Brummer. “It is worth noting that a time when some analysts are delighting in writing off the high street Tesco demonstrates how, with rigorous and imaginative management, grocery retail is alive and kicking.” (The Daily Mail)

Ben Woods in The Telegraph writes: “Tesco boss Dave Lewis must feel like he is playing the grocery market equivalent of whack-a-mole. While Wednesday’s half-year results served up further progress in Tesco’s UK and Ireland overhaul, the City was still disappointed.” (The Telegraph)

Tesco’s decision to take over Britain’s largest wholesaler attracted plenty of criticism at the time, but Booker is proving to be a star buy. First-half figures for Tesco revealed that Booker had contributed £97 million of profit to its performance in the UK and Ireland. (The Times £)

Tesco boss Dave Lewis declared his turnaround of the supermarket chain was bang on track as he stepped up his battle with Aldi and Lidl. Reporting the best sales figures for a decade, the 53-year-old said he is close to completing a total revamp of the budget food range as he takes on the German discounters. (The Daily Mail)

A leading adviser to British pension funds has called on UK investors to vote against Unilever’s plans to move its headquarters to the Netherlands as the maker of Dove soap gears up for a tetchy shareholder meeting this month (The Financial Times £). A leading shareholder advisory group has recommended that investors oppose Unilever’s plans to relocate its headquarters to the Netherlands and adjust its share structure (The Times £). An influential shareholder advisory firm has joined the chorus of investors speaking out against Unilever’s plan to quit its London headquarters (The Telegraph).

It is best known for its Big Macs, but coffee has been a key driver of sales at McDonald’s UK (The Times £). Profits at the UK arm of fast food chain McDonald’s climbed 19 per cent to £341 million last year (The Daily Mail).

Pret a Manger has agreed to full ingredient labelling on all its freshly made products following the case of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died after having an allergic reaction to one of its baguettes (The Guardian). Pret a Manger will list all ingredients, including allergens, on its freshly made products following the death of a teenager who had an allergic reaction after eating a Pret sandwich (The BBC). The new owners of Pret-A-Manger have begun to make their mark on the under-fire sandwich chain, with a management shake-up (The Daily Mail).

Amazon pay rise piles pressure on rivals, writes The FT. “Move by Jeff Bezos to try to reframe the debate hailed as ‘almost a coup’.” (The Financial Times £). Rivals may pay the price of Amazon’s wage hike, suggests The Telegraph.

Amazon has been criticised for slashing benefits for UK warehouse workers, offsetting at least half of a big pay rise announced this week (The Guardian).