Tesco chief Philip Clarke could face drama at this morning’s AGM due to recent lack of progress made and executives quitting the supermarket.
But it is widely expected he will be given more time by shareholders to improve the businesses fortunes.
Clarke recently commented that it will take at least three years for his turnaround plan – largely compromised of sharper price cutting and revamped stores – to improve its vital UK business.
Chief market strategist at CityIndex, Joshua Raymond commented on Twitter: “Clarke & board votes expected to go fine but expect some drama given the lack of turnaround progress & exec abandonment.”
Former Tesco boss Lord MacLaurin told the Independent this week that Mr Clarke was struggling but blamed former boss Sir Terry Leahy for the current failures.
“When Terry left Tesco he had left a US business that was wasting huge amounts of money and an underinvested UK business. Of course, it is going to be tough for Philip. I know from experience how long it takes to turn the business around.”
Clarke is a Tesco lifer who rose through the ranks, beginning with his first job as store manager in Liverpool 40 years ago.
Revenue was flat in the UK last year but grew in Asia, while profit in its banking arms grew 1.6 per cent. But UK profit fell 3.6 per cent in the worst year for the company for 40 years.
Retail experts CACI found that Tesco is still a leader in 69 of 118 UK postal areas but is under pressure in a third. The second placed retailer is less than 5 per cent behind. This position is considerably weaker than Tesco’s leadership in 87 postcode areas in 2008.
Meanwhile, German discounter Lidl, who is squeezing Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s has unveiled a £220m UK expansion drive as it invests in new shops, its fresh food offer and an extra 2,500 staff.