Booker ceo to head up Tesco UK's retail arm

Tesco and Booker merger

Tesco group CEO Dave Lewis said Wilson was "ideally suited" to lead United Kingdom retail for the next phase of the business' turnaround.

Tesco's purchase of wholesaler Booker is expected to be completed in March, as the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) approved the merger after concluding that the acquisition of the wholesaler did not raise competition concerns.

Wilson will take on the role at Tesco from the end of April when the current United Kingdom boss, Matt Davis, steps down from the role.

Tesco also forecast profit for 2017-18 would come in slightly ahead of analysts' expectations, adding it had traded in line with management expectations since it last updated investors on January 11.

Wilson brings "substantial commercial and retail experience and has an exceptional track record of increasing performance and driving growth in customer-focused businesses", Lewis, who is 52, said in a statement.

Wilson is now the CEO of Booker, which he has been for 13 years since 2005.

Mr Davies, 47, joined Tesco from auto-parts and bicycle seller Halfords Group Plc just three years ago, when the supermarket operator was near rock bottom after a 2014 accounting scandal. Rival Palmer & Harvey collapsed a year ago.

Commenting on the appointment, analyst Bruno Monteyne of Bernstein Research said, "The appointment clarifies the question of what Charles Wilson's role will be in the combined Tesco Booker group".

Tesco's share price has slipped marginally into the red in today's session, having given up 0.36 percent to 201.48p as of 08:33 GMT.

Booker CEO Charles Wilson will be appointed as CEO of Tesco's retail and wholesale operations in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland following the completion of the two companies' £3.7bn merger.

The retailer forecast operating profit before exceptional items of at least 1.6 billion pounds for the financial year ending February 24.

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