A senior Tesco executive sold more than £200,000 of shares in the supermarket a week before its first profit warning in 20 years wiped nearly £5bn off its market value.
Noel "Bob" Robbins, the grocer's chief UK operating officer, offloaded 50,000 shares at 404.5p each on 4 January and pocketed £202,255. By selling them 10 days ago, he made nearly £44,000 more than he would have done had he sold them yesterday, after the profits warning led to a further fall in Tesco's stock.
Tesco said Mr Robbins, a long-serving employee, had done nothing wrong because he sold the shares outside a period restricted by rules governing trading in shares, and he was not in possession of any "price-sensitive information" at the time.You may find it difficult to believe that the chief UK operating officer had no knowledge of a disappointing festive season for the retailer and would therefore have been unable to predict the contents of the profits warning this week and the likely impact on the share price. But, if Tesco says that it's alright, we must trust them, must we not?