Thursday 16 August 2012

Tesco catchup in the UK - a need for context?

Yesterday’s news of Tesco’s improved 3.4% sales growth is encouraging but needs to be kept in context:
- UK refocus: The company has completely refocused on the UK market, and has been spending appropriately (£1bn) since January
- Inflation: With food inflation running at 3.2%, Tesco is only slightly ahead
- Market growth: With the overall food market growing at 3.9%, Tesco is slightly behind
- Competition: Rivals are growing faster (Asda +6.2%, JS +4.6%)
- Fundamental ratios:
            -  where Tesco are:     ROCE12.3%, Net Margin5.9%, Stockturn 17.9 times, Gearing 55.8%
- Fundamental ratios:
            -  where Tesco need to be: ROCE 15%, Net Margin 5.0%, Stockturn 25 times, Gearing 30%
- Outside help: At 3.4% growth rate, a tightly-run Tesco will need considerable supplier support to improve these ratios, and hold UK market share
-      ..especially if they decide to take the nuclear pricing option 

Bearing in mind that ‘It ain't over till the fat lady sings…’, Tesco cannot afford to optimise overseas opportunities until this UK issue is resolved

In other words, Tesco needs to deliver on the fundamental key ratios and hold 31% market share, with growth matching that of the market, before being able to ‘park’ the UK….

As a supplier, it is now time to decide the extent to which you are prepared to offer a little help…

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