Tesco CEO Leahy Gives `Positive' View of Company in Credit Suisse Meeting

Tesco Plc Chief Executive Officer Terry Leahy was “positive as always about the business” during a brokerage meeting today, spokesman Trevor Datson said.

Credit Suisse told clients by e-mail today that its sales force met Leahy and that the grocery company’s shares offer a “buying opportunity.” Datson said by phone that the Cheshunt, England-based retailer doesn’t “release new news on broker visits.”

Tesco shares partially recovered from a drop of as much as 3.1 percent and were down 2.55 pence, or 0.7 percent, at 377.5 pence as of 4:40 p.m. in London. About 53.4 million shares had changed hands, more than double the daily average in the last six months. The shares have fallen 17 percent since reaching the highest in more than two years on April 26.

Andrew Kasoulis, Credit Suisse’s food retailing analyst in London, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

The retailer, Britain’s biggest, last month repeated a forecast for growth of 3 percent in sales at U.K. stores open at least a year, excluding gasoline and value-added tax. Revenue on that basis rose 0.1 percent in the 13 weeks ended May 30.

Leahy is due to step down in March and be succeeded by Phil Clarke, the head of Tesco’s operations in Asia and Europe.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Jarvis in London at pjarvis@bloomberg.net; Alexis Xydias in London at axydias@bloomberg.net.

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