Tesco’s UK problems exposed by Sainsbury’s surging sales
The agreement means UK-GBC is now the lead partner of Ecobuild, the annual event which the charity has supported since it was founded in 2007. The two organisations will now work even more closely to promote the business case for a greener and more sustainable built environment. Ecobuild’s unrivalled programme of events will be developed and delivered in association with UK-GBC, whose Chief Executive Paul King sits on the Ecobuild Advisory Board. UK-GBC will also contribute to the conference and seminar programme, which for the first time in Ecobuild’s ten-year history, will all take place on the show floor. Conference sessions including high profile debates on key policy issues will be hosted in two major arenas, while six seminar zones will focus on topics such as building products and design, building performance and BIM, refurbishment and retrofit, future cities, and green infrastructure and energy. Ecobuild is also actively supporting the work of UK-GBC to raise awareness and understanding of sustainability in the built environment as a founding sponsor of Pinpoint ( http://www.pinpoint.org.uk ), UK-GBC’s online platform for sustainability resources, and the Green Building Series education programme ( http://www.ukgbc.org/education ). “This partnership marks the start of a new and exciting chapter in our close relationship with Ecobuild, an event which has firmly placed sustainable construction on the UK and international agenda over the past ten years,” said Paul King. “We look forward to working with the organisers and industry to ensure that the programme of events and line-up of speakers make 2014 the best Ecobuild yet.” Alison Jackson, UBM’s newly appointed Director of Sustainability and Construction, added: “We are delighted to be working more closely withUK-GBC. Their expertise in leadingindustry action, building capability through knowledge and green transfer, and the commitment and passion of the organisation is exemplary. The partnership encourages a year round collaboration and we are delighted that UK-GBC will be the lead partner of the Ecobuild brand.” Ecobuild is also focusing on minimising the environmental impact of the event itself by implementing the ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System, which addresses materials use, waste reduction and carbon mitigation. A sustainable procurement process will also be put into place for all key suppliers and environmental issues promoted to all stakeholders in the run up to the show. As part of this initiative Ecobuild will be working closely with UK-GBC on the Sustainable Stands Awards. 2014 will mark the fourth year UK-GBC will be running the Sustainable Stand Awards at Ecobuild.
Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor By James Davey and Neil Maidment LONDON | Wed Oct 2, 2013 10:13am EDT LONDON (Reuters) – Plunging profits in mainland Europe blew a new hole in Tesco’s recovery plan on Wednesday, piling pressure on the world’s No.3 retailer as it struggles to reverse market share losses in its main UK market and extricate itself from other foreign failures. The grocer said first-half trading profit slumped 68 percent in its European division, made up of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Turkey as well as Ireland, adding to signs of a slowdown in developing markets after a warning from consumer goods group Unilever (ULVR.L) (UNc.AS) on Monday. That, along with weaker trading in some Asian markets, including previous star-performer Thailand, dragged down Tesco’s (TSCO.L) group profit for a third straight half-year and sent its shares down almost 4 percent as analysts cut forecasts. “With profits nosediving in Europe and Asia, the foreign markets that once provided a perfect hedge against weak demand at home are now more hurdle than help,” said John Ibbotson, director of consultant Retail Vision. The darling of the retail sector during two decades of uninterrupted earnings growth, Tesco has suffered in recent years from failed attempts to break into the United States and Japan and a costly, still unprofitable, expansion in China. While it invested abroad, it also neglected Britain, where it still makes over two-thirds of sales, and started losing market share to rivals including Wal-Mart’s Asda (WMT.N) and J Sainsbury (SBRY.L), as well as discounters Aldi ALDIEI.UL and Lidl LIDUK.UL and upmarket Waitrose JLP.UL. Despite being 18 months into a 1 billion pound ($1.6 billion) turnaround plan in Britain, which has included revamping stores, recruiting more staff and new product ranges, the group said sales at UK stores open over a year, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, were flat in the 13 weeks to August 24. Though that was at the top end of analysts’ expectations and an improvement on a 1 percent decline the previous quarter, it was well below the 2.0 percent rise, excluding fuel, reported by Sainsbury for the 16 weeks to September 28. Ibbotson said Sainsbury had managed a delicate balancing act which has so far eluded Tesco, with its premium “Taste the Difference” and budget “basics” ranges helping Sainsbury to fend off competition from both the discounters and Waitrose. COMMITTED TO EUROPE Tesco, which lags France’s Carrefour (CARR.PA) and U.S. industry leader Wal-Mart by annual sales, said first-half trading profit dropped 7.6 percent to 1.59 billion pounds. That reflected like-for-like sales declines in all ten of its overseas markets and particularly heavy falls in central and eastern Europe, which the company blamed on government austerity measures, rising inflation and high unemployment. Deutsche Bank analysts said European profits of 55 million pounds were 60 percent below their expectations and predicted analysts’ full-year group trading profit estimate would fall 2-4 percent to 3.35-3.45 billion pounds, excluding the benefits from Tesco’s move to fold its Chinese business into a state-run firm. Despite the profit slump, Tesco said it remained committed to its European businesses, which account for about 12.5 percent of group sales.