Tesco slashes profit forecast and dividend as trading declines

Britain’s biggest retailer, Tesco slashed its interim dividend by 75% as tough trading conditions forced it to cut its profit forecast for the second time in two months.

Tesco, which warned on profits in July as it ousted chief executive Phil Clarke, also said his replacement Dave Lewis would start on Monday, one month earlier than expected, and with a remit for a major review of the company.

Tesco now expects trading profit for 2014/15 to be in the range of £2.4 billion – £2.5 billion, compared with an analyst range of between £2.7 billion – £2.8 billion.

Samuel Springett, trader at Accendo Markets said on Tesco: ‘The selling pressure on the trading floor is relentless this morning. Traders are dumping shares and increasing short positions.’