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Tesco may post multi-billion pound losses amid shake-up

By John-Paul Ford Rojas

Tesco could report a multi-billion pound annual loss this week as it undergoes the latest phase of its shake-up under new boss Dave Lewis.

Britain's biggest supermarket will post its first yearly figures since Mr Lewis was drafted in to turn around its fortunes following a series of profit warnings amid a ferocious price war with rivals.

They are expected to show trading profits falling by 58% to £1.4bn, their lowest level for more than a decade.

But analysts also foresee billions more being subtracted from the group's bottom line as it writes down the value of its properties by around £3bn as well as facing up to a pension fund deficit swelling to as much as £5bn. Experts at Barclays have pencilled in a statutory pre-tax loss at around £2.9bn with Shore Capital estimating around £3bn.

Shore's Clive Black said: "At a statutory level, it's going to be a horror show. But, for shareholders, it is about Dave Lewis and the future."

Shares fell to a low of 155.4p in December but have since added about 50% as Mr Lewis has laid out a series of major plans to revive its fortunes.

Tesco has been caught up in a ferocious price war with rivals Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons as their market share is gnawed away by discounters Aldi and Lidl.

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