Tesco has appointed two commercial directors to spearhead a major expansion of its interests in Central Europe.
The chain has handed the job of commercial director for the Czech Republic and Slovakia to John Burry, trading director for convenience foods in the UK. Reg Curtis, trading director for morning goods and in-store bakeries, becomes commercial director for Hungary. Tesco says the “all-encompassing roles” are new, and the directors “will be responsible for commercial operations in those countries”.
Another top appointment is Paul Mancey, trading director for non-food areas such as entertainment and leisure, who becomes European trading supply director. He will be based at the Cheshunt head office, and co-ordinate supply throughout Europe.
Tesco is investing 100m in its European operations this year. It is opening a second hypermarket in Hungary in November, and is understood to be opening six more next year. It is changing the SMart chain in Hungary to the Tesco name and format, and has completed a similar exercise in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with the KMart chain. In Poland, it has yet to change the format of its Savia chain.
Sales in Central and Eastern Europe doubled last year, from 67m to 135m. Profits from the region topped 5m, although after 8m start-up costs, this translated into a 3m loss.
Cover Story, page 52