Tesco's profits overstatement might be less than it thought

Catherine Neilan
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Tesco: Profits shortfall could be a fifth less than originally thought (Source: Getty).

Did Tesco overestimate its overestimate?

The supermarket last month claimed to have discovered a profits black hole of £250m, but now it looks like that figure could be less than originally thought.

Sources have told Sky News that the grocer is likely to tell the City it had a shortfall of between £200m and £250m - still not petty cash, but potentially a good deal less than originally warned.

As Tesco itself says, every little helps.

The numbers are still being prepared by Tesco's auditors this weekend and a final figure, according to Sky’s source.

Tesco is expected to reveal all on Thursday (October 23), though the results from the independent investigation being carried out by Deloitte and Freshfields will not be ready at that point.

Any reduction in the overstatement will probably be greeted positively by investors who have backed away from the company in their droves over the past few weeks.

Most notably, Warren Buffett has reduced his stake in the company to less than three per cent, after offloading more than 245 million shares in one go.

Tesco’s share price has fallen by 24 per cent since it made the admission in mid-September.

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