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Critical Assessment and Comparison of the Competitiveness and Profitability of the UK Food Retail Sector - Dissertation Example

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Critical Assessment and Comparison of the Competitiveness and Profitability of the UK Food Retail Sector

The analysis of the two sectors has revealed that there are mixed trends with respect to the performance of selected companies in this study. However, within the retail sector of UK, Morrison’s and Sainsbury are better performers as compared to Tesco. On the other hand, BG and Shell have superseded BP as per the financial analysis. The SWOT analysis of the retail companies and analysis through Porter’s Five Forces Model has revealed that there are significant opportunities for the companies to expand their businesses; whereas at the same time, the competition in the market is also at peak. Similarly, for oil and gas companies, the analysis showed that there are no significant threats for the companies, but for BP the oil spill incident is still showing it’s after effects. Introduction Two of the most successful and competitive industry sectors in the UK are the UK food retail industry (specifically supermarkets) and the UK Oil and Gas industry. Both industries are major contributors to the UK economy. The grocery market alone in 2011 was worth ?156.8 billion and in 2011-2012 the UK oil and gas industry paid production tax of ?11.2 billion, almost a quarter of the exchequers corporation tax (IGN, 2012; Oil & Gas UK, 2012). In times of austerity and economic recession such as the UK is currently experiencing, it is insightful to assess the financial health of each of these organizations using ratio analysis in order to understand how they are achieving their level of success. According to Jones (2006) ratios are an extremely effective means of achieving this because if suitable ratios are selected and applied it can reveal interesting facts about how the company is managed and run, and where there may be areas of potential risk and weakness such as excessive borrowing. Rationale The rationale for this study is to understand how different ratios are employed in different industries and to evaluate the challenges that can be encountered if the same ratio is used in different industries. There is an inherent risk in taking the output of financial ratio analysis at face value without fully appreciating the context of the output. Therefore, by examining two highly successful industries it is hoped to identify areas of best practice using financial ratios as guides. The industries selected for research arethe UK food retail sector and UK oil and gas. These two industries have been chosen for particular reasons. Firstly, the UK food retail sector is one of the most competitive market places in the UK,characterized by high output volumes, fast turnover and tight profit margins. It is an industry where any mistakes are quickly reflected in the financial data and stakeholders are unforgiving (Palmer, 2004; Retail Week, 2012). It is this level of competition and volatility which makes the industry an interesting study because food is essential to every household and so the performance of food retail giants such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s can be regarded as a sensible barometer of the current economic situation in the UK. Furthermore, the success of Tesco at the international level undoubtedly points to the value being created in this industry in the UK. This alone makes it an interesting area to conduct research in.The second industry, UK oil and gas plays a major part in the UK economy in terms of exports, technology, and ...Show more

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Critical Assessment and Comparison of the Competitiveness and Profitability of the UK Food Retail Sector and the UK Oil and Gas Sector (Insert name) (Institution) (Course) (Date) Abstract This report is aimed at presenting a comprehensive analysis of the food and retail sector and oil and gas sector in the UK…
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