Tesco has today announced that, as part of its programme of rebuilding trust and transparency, it is providing 'increased disclosure, including additional details on property valuation and ownership'.
So what has Tesco told us?
It has told us that the estimated market value for its fully owned property was £22.9 bn. Note please that this is an estimate not an external valuation notwithstanding that Tesco later says that "This valuation represents an estimated surplus of £2.7 bn over the year-end net book value".
Tesco also tells us that the £22.9 bn represents a reduction of £7.6 bn year on year. By my calculation that is just short of a 25% reduction in value. That reduction is described by Tesco as 'driven mainly by a significant weakening of the UK retail property market....'
I'm fairly confident that the UK retail property market didn't fall by 25% last year nor did the supermarket sector. In respect of the latter, the latest figures (to 30th Sept 2014) from British Land showed its superstore portfolio growing by 3.1% year on year.
Notwithstanding Tesco's claim of improved transparency, it seems to me that something still does not add up.