Tesco, described by Richard Hunter at financial advisers Hargreaves Lansdown as ‘the darling of the supermarket sector’, is now Europe’s biggest private sector employer.
For those who like numbers to crunch, there are some other impressive stats.
They have over half a million staff now across South Korea, China, Thailand and the USA, to go with the nearly 300,000 in the UK.
Pretax profits from March-August 2011 topped £1.9 billion. Sainsbury’s slightly outdid them on like-for-like sales, but most pundits think Tescos are better placed in the long term.
When Sir Terry Leahy stepped down as Tesco boss in March 2011, the Daily Telegraph did a numbers-summary of his 14 years at the helm:
- he delivered shareholder returns of a staggering 414% (Sainsbury’s 112%; M&S 25%)
- the share price rose 250%
- they expanded into 12 countries around the globe, increasing international floorspace by 2000%
- UK store numbers went up fourfold, from 568 to 2482
- annual sales grew 350% (£13.8 billion to £62.5 billion)
- they have around 30% of market share, taking one pound for every seven spent in all UK retailers
- their online operation now services 750,000 customers.
Love them or hate them, you have to admire their business success!