Monday 1 September 2014

An ROCE recipe for Dave...?

On his first day at the other side of the Tesco checkout, Dave Lewis will have no shortage of advisers explaining what has gone wrong, a few less saying what to do about it and perhaps a handful indicating a way forward…

Given that scenario, and with some humility, we offer a few pointers for Tesco and its NAMs.

Essentially, Dave Lewis has been parachuted in to restore the share price

Incidentally, much is being made of their loss of market share, but when you think that 30+% of a market seems to translate into market abuse in the minds of politicians, special interest groups and can give the public the impression that ‘Tesco are everywhere’, then perhaps allowing their share to drift down to 25% and keeping it there, would allow  Tesco to focus on growth outside the UK, whilst fulfilling the basic principle of global retailing – profitable dominance of the home market…

Improving the share price:
Given that ROCE drives the share price, then improving ROCE and its elements could provide a way forward

ROCE = Return/Sales i.e. Net Margin  x Sales / Capital Employed i.e. Capital turn
     -  Maintain sales (i.e. see market share issue above), cut costs via reductions in admin and operational costs
     -  Rationalise brand/Private label balance to reflect real market demand and optimise profitability

2. IMPROVING Tesco S/CE i.e. capital rotation
     - maintain sales, cut capital employed i.e. reduce Fixed Assets, Current Assets and increase Current Liabilities

Fixed Asset reduction:
- Sell off land-bank as fast as the property market will allow i.e. without crashing land prices.
- Assess profitability of existing stores, with a view to selling off those that are compromising overall profitability

Current Asset reduction: 
- Reduce stocks by rationalising  ranges and encouraging closer supplier collaboration to increase stockturn
- Reduce debtors (being a retailer, advance payments are parked in the Debtors box…)
- Cash reduction

Current Liabilities increase:
- Move to a gearing level of 30% to remove bank pressure from the mix
- Check the trade-off between extra days credit and settlement discount, and contact the suppliers

This should provide a breathing space to apply some marketing skills…

How about the NAMs?
Consider a ‘what-if’ re Tesco applying the above recipe, and assess the cost to you, and the value to Tesco of your collaboration…

No comments: