British supermarket giant Tesco has issued its third profits warning of the year, and has suspended four senior staff members after finding a fault in accounts.
Shares fell 12 percent on the announcement and fresh accountants were being called in after a quarter of a billion pounds of first-half profit outlook were slashed from the first half of the year.
Interim results will now be published near the end of October, not at the start, to clear up reported over-eager booking of profit and tardy recognition of costs. The appearance of cooking the books sits ill with a trusted household name.
Tesco’s weakened position can only benefit its high street rivals.
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