Tesco hit by ratings warning as it unveils refreshed luxury range

Marion Dakers
TESCO yesterday relaunched its Finest range of luxury produce, though the redesign was not enough to stop a debt rating warning from Moody’s last night.

The supermarket, which spent tens of millions of pounds and the better part of a year on the redesign, has recently lost out on UK sales growth to both the higher end of the market and discount retailers such as Aldi.

“This isn’t about taking on Waitrose,” Tesco’s UK managing director Chris Bush told reporters at the relaunch of the 1,500 product range, which generates sales of £1.4bn a year.

New products on offer include products including a trifle made with Amontillado sherry syrup, Aberdeen Angus beef steaks and Anglesey pure sea salt. The relaunch is being supported by sponsorship of Downton Abbey.

Moody’s put Tesco on negative watch for a downgrade from its current Baa1 rating, warning that “persistently soft macroeconomic growth and intense competition” are expected to slow the company more than predicted.