Tesco profits drop by more than half
Tesco have watched their profits drop by more than half over the first half of their financial year, going from £779m to £354m. Now, that is still a lot of money, but when your profits drop by half within 6 months, if they keep that up, they'll soon have no profits at all.
Life-for-like sales were down by 1.1%, and yet somehow, these figures were marginally better than some people in the City had initially feared.
Of course, Tesco have been having a howler of a year, and it all goes back to the accounting scandal which saw the supermarket posting a £6.4bn loss.
The company’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, said: "We have delivered an unprecedented level of change in our business over the last 12 months and it is working. The first half results show sustained improvement across a broad range of key indicators."
While Lewis is thinking about his broad range of key indicators, there's more trouble ahead for Tesco, what with the Serious Fraud Office about to deliver their findings after their investigation into the business.
The SFO have been talking to former finance director Laurie McIlwee, one of the most senior figures at the retailer, as a witness. They'll also be talking to Chris Bush, Tesco’s former UK managing director, asking him how you manage to balls-up a company that was doing as well as Tesco were. This pair are being interviewed, but not accused of anything, for the record. This is rather different to the way the SFO went about interviewing former chief executive Phil Clarke, who was interviewed under caution.
It is thought that the investigation will be done before the year is out, but we'll just have to wait and see. If someone has been doing something especially crooked in all this, they could be looking at 10 years in prison.