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Tesco spends 28MILLION on private jets flying executives around the world
Retail giant's spending on private jets for senior staff reached new high last year
Firm has spent nearly 29 million on private plane journeys since 2005Spiralling costs revealed after Tesco issues first profits warning for 20 years
11:12 GMT, 24 December 2012
With its famous motto of 'Every little helps' Tesco has made its fortune by meeting the needs of cost-conscious shoppers.
But the supermarket giant appears to have been less thrifty with its use of private jets for senior executives – spending 8.9 million flying them around the globe last year alone.
Since 2005 the firm has spent nearly 29 million on flying executives to different parts of the world, according to information filed at Companies House.
Expense: Tesco reportedly spent nearly 9 million on private jets last year to fly its senior executives across the globe (file picture)
Increase: Tesco's spending on private jets has reached a new high under chief executive Philip Clarke (left) after steadily increasing under his predecessor Sir Terry Leahy (right)
The figures, which come from analysis of the accounts for Kansas Transportation, a jet-leasing business which was established by Tesco in 2005, reveals that the retail giant has spent a total of 28.9m on private jets during the past seven years, the Guardian reports.
The bill has increased steadily under the management of Philip Clarke with the highest bill this year – the first under the management of chief executive Philip Clarke, who took over the running of the firm from Sir Terry Leahy last year.
Sir Terry has previously been reported as saying he preferred flights with EasyJet than flying on private jets.
Share price: Mr Clarke recently issued Tesco's first profits warning for 20 years
Cheaper: Sir Terry reportedly said earlier this year that he preferred to use the budget airline EasyJet to private jets
In 2009, under Sir Terry's management, the bill for private jets was just 2.3 million, but this rose to 5.4 million the following year, .7.8 million in the year to Februrary 2011 and 8.9m in the most recent year.
News of the jets bill has come at a bad time for Mr Clarke, who recently issued Tesco's first profits warning in two decades – with the firm's share's losing 16 per cent of their value during Mr Clarke's reign.
A Tesco spokesman said the firm used private jets 'in common with many multinational companies' and that this was to help its executives 'make the most efficient use of their time as they travel in and between our markets.'