Founded in 1919 as a market stall in the East End of London, Tesco is now a major UK-based retailer, employing more than 500,000 people with operations in 14 countries.

The scandal raises doubts over the management and financial oversight at Britain’s largest private sector employer, now in the midst of the gravest crisis in its 95-year history. Photo: EPA

Tesco fails to see US$410m hole in first half profits

"Things are always unnoticed, until they're noticed," Tesco chairman Richard Broadbent said when asked how Britain's biggest retailer had failed to spot a £250 million (HK$3.14 billion) sized hole in its first-half profit.