Tesco boss Dave Lewis insists the grocer is ready to “go after” more synergies following the completion of the Booker deal.
The supermarket giant this morning refused to increase its synergy guidance of £200m per year, despite the hopes of some analysts ahead of the grocer’s full-year results.
Tesco instead reaffirmed its aim to achieve £60m synergy benefits in its new financial year, a cumulative £140m in the second year and £200m per year by the end of the third year as a combined business.
Speaking after Tesco unveiled a spike in statutory operating profit to £1.6bn for the year to February 24, Lewis said: “We are five weeks in. We are certainly not in a place where we will be changing any of the targets we set for ourselves.
“All I’d say at this stage is that we see, as a team, the opportunity that we have. The imperative we have is first of all to deliver the £200m that we’ve said, then everybody can rest assured that if we think there is more to go for, we will definitely go for them.
“We’ll also try and do them as quick as we possibly can with the least possible cost.”
Pressed further on why Tesco did not take the opportunity to upgrade synergy targets and placate any shareholders who were unhappy about the £3.7bn Booker acquisition, Lewis added: “I think our shareholders would expect us to stay completely true to the prospectus we put before them and crack on and deliver that.
“There was a very strong vote from Tesco shareholders and Booker shareholders for the deal, we will create significant value for them if we deliver the plan that we’ve got.
“I and the team are completely focused on delivering that and if, as we get into all the detail of it, we are able to identify more synergies, we will go after them.”
Much of the focus in the City is on Tesco’s plans for Booker, but the grocer hailed a “strong year of progress” in its core business.
Group sales climbed 2.3% to £51bn as the retailer achieved its ninth consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth.