Tesco's CEO looks to the future after the world's third biggest retailer reported the cost of its spectacular decline. The annual loss of 6.4 billion pounds ($9.5 billion) was one of the biggest in British corporate history. Hayley Platt reports
It was largely expected but still a staggering result. Tesco's £6.4 billion pound annual loss was the worst in its 96-year history and the biggest in British retail history. David Lewis, chief exec, says a fall in property prices was largely to blame. SOUNDBITE: Davd Lewis, chief executive Tesco, saying (English): "We find ourselves in a tough economic and market situation, we've done that before but we've also got to recognise, and we do in the numbers we've presented today, that perhaps in the past couple of years we've not been as competitive as we should be and we've just recognised that in the value of the assets that the business has." Lewis is now looking to rebuild trust and profits. He's already been cutting costs, cutting prices and putting more staff on the shop floor. But it's not going to be easy says Mintel's Richard Perks. SOUNDBITE: Richard Perks, Senior analyst, Mintel, saying (English): "It's going to be tough, of course it is. But I think they're basically doing the right thing. By switching the focus onto developing convenience stores and they're really thinking about what the superstore of the future should be like and what it should do." Tesco is more used to making money than losing it - just 4 years ago it made £2.8 billion profit. But the retail landscape is changing. Competition from cheaper rivals is part of the problem. SOUNDBITE: Unidentified female shopper, saying (English): "People aren't doing the same sort of shopping as they were before. You don't see the big trollies." SOUNDBITE: Unidentified male shopper, saying (English): "All these supposed offers, if you look at them closely, they're not as good as they make out." Tesco is still Britain's biggest retailer and third in the world. The coming years will be the real test. Investors will be watching closely to see if Tesco can indeed redeem itself and return to the glory days it once enjoyed.