Buffett boosts Tesco stake after profit warning

Veteran US investor Warren Buffett has upped his stake in Tesco following the supermarket giant’s profit warning earlier this month.


A regulatory filing by Tesco shows Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway increased its holding on January 12, boosting the stake from 3.21% to 5.08%.

Based on Tesco’s market cap, this suggests Buffett has invested about £500m more in the company, which is the world’s third largest retailer.

The day before the move Tesco posted a trading statement that showed like-for-like UK sales fell by 1.3% over the Christmas and New Year period. The firm’s shares dropped by 15% on the back of the news.

The group also said it now expects trading profit growth for 2011-12 will be “around the low end of the current consensus range” and warned it would be “minimal” in the following year.

Buffett has owned Tesco shares since at least 2007 and expressed renewed interest in the company at the end of last year.

In November the billionaire told CNBC: “If the price came down some on Tesco I’d buy some more of that.”

Tesco’s shares rose on the announcement, rising 0.61% to 322.95p as of 1310 GMT.

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