Tesco Fixes its Crosswires on the Planet

13 April 2005

UK-headquartered supermarket leviathan Tesco this week became the first British retail business to surpass the £2 billion ($3.77bn; €2.93bn) annual profit barrier - several leagues ahead of its nearest rival Wal-Mart (which trades in the UK as Asda).

Tesco has topped the UK supermarket league for the last seven years - and with the confidence of an unstoppable juggernaut, on Tuesday it served notice on its international competitors that it plans similar domination elsewhere on the globe.

Beyond the UK Tesco already operates in twelve European and Asian nations and, according to ceo Sir Terry Leahy, its international operations will become an increasingly important part of the business.

In the year to February 26, twenty per cent of Tesco's £37.1bn group sales came from overseas sources and Sir Terry now has the bit between his teeth. On Tuesday, he outlined Tesco's six-point plan for international growth.

At the plan's core is the customizing of products to local markets; also the strategic deployment of differing retail formats - from hypermarkets to local convenience stores - to boost market penetration.

And in the UK, Leahy and his cohorts are far from sated. He believes the core business still has room to grow despite controlling 29.5% of the domestic supermarket grocery market.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff