False accounting at Tesco took place on an industrial scale, leading to a £250 million overstatement of the company’s profits, a court was told (The Times £). Two former Tesco executives used their managerial authority to “pressurise” junior employees into “unorthodox” practices of improperly recognising income before it was earned, a jury has been told (The Financial Times £). Two former Tesco senior managers have gone on trial accused over an alleged fraud that saw profits overstated by a quarter of a billion pounds (The Daily Mail). Two former directors at Tesco have gone on trial, accused of manipulating figures that resulted in the firm’s profits being overstated by £250m (The BBC).
Britain’s retailers experienced a sharp slowdown in consumer spending last month, bringing to a close the World Cup-inspired summer spree on the high street (The Guardian). British consumers have lost some of their defiance in the face of Brexit uncertainty, according to the latest monthly retail sales report from the British Retail Consortium (The Financial Times £). Retail sales in September grew at the slowest rate in five months, as Britons balanced their budgets after a summer of spending (The Times £).
Unilever faces a backlash over fat cat pay just days after it was forced to abandon plans to axe its British headquarters. MPs on the business select committee have summoned executives to Parliament to explain its pay policy amid mounting concerns over boardroom excess. (The Daily Mail)
Unilever boss Paul Polman looks stranded following the firm’s botched relocation to Rotterdam. Some investors are said to be keen for him to accelerate his retirement plans, which were expected to be announced toward the end of next year. (The Daily Mail)
Marks & Spencer has poached Tesco’s commercial director in the latest shake-up of its food business (The Times £). A grocery mastermind behind a massive overhaul at Tesco is jumping ship to join Marks & Spencer (The Daily Mail).
Stock market punters who were betting on a takeover of Fevertree Drinks may have been reaching for something stronger last night. The rumour mill had it that Pepsico might be running a slide rule over the posh tonic maker, but the fizz went out of the stock yesterday as the share price slumped (The Times £).
A legal battle for compensation by thousands of Morrisons staff whose personal details were posted online by a disgruntled employee has reached the Court of Appeal. (The BBC)
The family of a woman who had a fatal allergic reaction to food bought from Pret a Manger have called for answers over her death. (The Guardian)
Starbucks on Monday said it had appointed Patrick Grismer as its new chief financial officer as the coffee chain is faced with key executive departures this year. (The Financial Times £)
Sales are fizzing at UK fine wine investment company Cult Wines, which reported a record 54% increase in global revenue to £52m in the year ending August 31. (The Telegraph)
Cocoa prices leave bitter taste for Ghana’s farmers, write the FT. The bean has historically been both a boon and a burden to the country’s legion of smallholders (The Financial Times £). The paper also writes how enterprise is flourishing amongst Ghana’s chocolate producers in the multinationals’ shadow (The Financial Times £).