Tim Mason (pictured above in front of the "fresh from our kitchen" sampling kiosk in a Fresh & Easy market), the CEO of Tesco's Southern California-based Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market grocery and fresh foods chain, and who also is a director of United Kingdom-based Tesco PLC, yesterday (Wednesday, April 22) sold 631,381 ordinary shares of Tesco PLC stock at 350. 30 pence each, resulting in a financial gain of £2.2 million (British pounds) -- about $3.2 million U.S. -- according to a regulatory filing financial press release issued today by Tesco PLC. [You can view the release here.]
The British government requires companies like Tesco to make such regulatory filings and issue such regulatory news releases when a company director sells shares.
Tesco PLC and Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market USA CEO Tim Mason's stock share sale payday today comes just one day after (Tuesday, April 22) the British-based global retail chain reported record full-year sales and profits for Tesco PLC but reported a bigger than hoped for loss of £142 million (British pounds) -- $208.05 million U.S. -- on sales of £208.04 million (British pounds) -- $305.04 million U.S. -- for its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market USA grocery and fresh foods chain.
Following its record profit report yesterday, Tesco PLC's stock share price rose on Wednesday, April 22, the day Mr. Mason sold his shares.
[See our Tuesday, April 22, 2009 story here: Tesco PLC Reports Record Sales and Profits; But Takes £142 Million ($208.05 Million U.S.) Loss For Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market USA .] for information on Tesco's annual sales and profits for the fiscal year reported on Tuesday.]
Mr. Mason, who now makes his home in Southern California not far from Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market headquarters in El Segundo, was named to Tesco PLC's board in 1995.
He was named CEO of Tesco's then just-forming Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market USA venture by Tesco PLC CEO Sir Terry Leahy in early 2006. Before that appointment, which he continues to hold, he headed-up Tesco's corporate marketing function at its United Kingdom corporate headquarters.
Tesco established its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market office in Southern California not long after Mr. Mason was named CEO in 2006.
The first Fresh & Easy stores opened in Southern California beginning in early November, 2007. The very first Fresh & Easy grocery and fresh foods market opened in Hemet, in Southern California's Inland Empire region not far from the 850,000 square-foot Riverside County Fresh & Easy distribution center, as a soft opening test in late October, 2007.
Tesco as of today operates 119 small-format (10,000 -to- 13,000 square-foot), convenience-oriented Fresh & Easy combination grocery and fresh foods markets in California, Nevada and Arizona. Store number 119 opened today in the Southern California city of Corona.
There are 64 of the Fresh & Easy stores located in California -- 61 in Southern California and three in Bakersfield, which is in the southern Central Valley. The remaining 55 stores are located in the Metropolitan Las Vegas region in southern Nevada (25) and in the Phoenix Metro region in Arizona (30).
Loss or not for Fresh & Easy USA, of which he is the CEO, yesterday was a nice payday for Mr. Mason in his role as a director of Tesco PLC.
He still holds a considerable amount of Tesco PLC stock as a director, despite selling the 600,000-plus shares yesterday.
With Tesco's stock share price rising in the wake of its positive full-year profit performance reported on Tuesday, don't be surprised to see other company directors sell some of their stock, just as Mr. Mason did on Wednesday.