Tesco boss resigns as profit error deepens
The chairman of Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco resigned on Thursday as the troubled supermarket group said a huge accounting error began earlier than thought and contributed to plunging profits.
Chairman Richard Broadbent said he would be stepping down after an independent investigation found that Tesco had overstated profits by £263 million ($422m, 334m euros) as a result of accounting errors stretching back to before 2013.
“The board’s immediate focus must be on ensuring that we complete the transition to a new management team and that new and far-reaching business plans are put in place quickly,” Broadbent said in a statement that revealed Tesco’s net profit had crashed to £6.m in its first half from £820m one year earlier.
Tesco, the world’s third biggest supermarket group, stunned investors one month ago when it revealed that its profit for the six months to August 23 was overstated by an estimated £250m.
Following an independent probe by accountants Deloitte, the final figure was put at £263m, which includes overstatements of £70m for Tesco’s last financial year and £75m relating to pre-2013/14.
“The issues that have come to light over recent weeks are a matter of profound regret,” Broadbent added in the statement.
Tesco has suspended eight executives since recently-appointed chief executive Dave Lewis launched an inquiry into the accounting error that has triggered a separate probe by British regulator the Financial Conduct Authority.
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