Tesco clearly has a lot on its plate. On the one hand, the UK's largest retailer is focused on transforming its domestic business through a capital intensive programme of store refurbishments and a potentially margin-dilutive drive online. On the other, the need to reverse overseas volume declines in order to shore-up international margins is pressing. CEO Philip Clarke is attempting to perform a complex balancing act. Katy Askew reports.
The disappointing third-quarter top-line performance reported this morning (4 December) by Tesco has left analysts divided over the group's strategy. Tesco has cut capital expenditure on new stores and is instead investing in refurbishments and multichannel growth. Management has insisted the strategy will simply take time to deliver results. But, with the clock ticking, another set of weak numbers has raised questions over whether Tesco's investment focus will pay off. Here is the view from the City.