Tesco has posted a record £6.376 billion pre-tax loss for the 53 weeks ending February 28th 2015 as part of its preliminary 2014/2015 financial results.
The supermarket admitted there has been ‘an erosion’ of its competitiveness in recent years, and outlined ways it is changing going forwards.
Group sales dipped three per cent to £69.6 billion during the year, while Tesco’s net debt (excluding the net debt of Tesco Bank) now stands at £8.5 billion.
Earlier this year Tesco announced a new online network for its suppliers.
Former Halfords exec Matt Davies will become Tesco CEO on June 1st. This announcement was made earlier this year as Tesco outlined plans to close 43 stores.
Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, said: "It has been a very difficult year for Tesco. The results we have published today reflect a deterioration in the market and, more significantly, an erosion of our competitiveness over recent years. We have faced into this reality, sought to draw a line under the past and begun to rebuild, and already we are beginning to see early encouraging signs from what we’ve done so far.
"Over the last six months we have put customers back at the centre of everything we do. By focusing on the fundamentals of availability, service and targeted price reductions, we have seen a steady increase in footfall, transactions and, most significantly, volumes. More customers are buying more things at Tesco.
"We are making deep changes to the way we organise and run our business, with a simpler, more agile office team, more colleagues serving customers and a new approach to the way we work with suppliers. I do not underestimate how difficult some of these changes have been for the team and I thank everyone for their professionalism and contribution at this time of great change.
Lewis added: "The market is still challenging and we are not expecting any let up in the months ahead. When you add to this the fundamental changes we are making to our business and our offer, it is likely to lead to an increased level of volatility in short-term performance. Our clear priority – and the one that will deliver sustainable value for our shareholders – is to improve consistently for customers. The changes we have made and will continue to make put us in a stronger position to do this.”
Going forwards, Tesco said it will focus on its three priorities: regaining competitiveness in its UK business; protecting and strengthening the balance sheet; and rebuilding trust and transparency in the business and the brand.
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