Tesco set to unveil new chief’s vision for group

TESCO is set to admit this week that its core UK sales continued to drift downwards in the final quarter, as chief executive Phil Clarke unveils his turnaround blueprint for the business.

The backdrop to the new strategy is expected to be a sales fall of about 2 per cent in the fourth quarter. That follows on from a 2.3 per cent decline in the run-up to Christmas, which sparked Tesco’s first profit warning in decades.

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It was followed recently by the abrupt departure from the group of the head of the British business, Christopher Brasher.

Group pre-tax profits at the food retailing major are set to come in about flat at £3.6 billion, of which the UK business is expected to account for £2.4bn.

Clarke’s new strategy is expected to involve putting a freeze on the building of what critics have called “soulless, industrial” superstores over the next three years.