UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Oct 31, 2014

Without a plan, junk status looms for Britain’s Tesco: Moody’s

LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) could see its debt downgraded to “junk” status unless it outlines plans to cut borrowing and improve trading, rating agency Moody’s said, raising the prospect of higher financing costs for Britain’s biggest grocer.

Tesco, already facing a severe slowdown in sales in its stores, said last month it had uncovered what has become a 263 million pound ($420 million) accounting hole, resulting in the suspension of eight senior members of staff and a Serious Fraud Office investigation.

Oct 31, 2014

Advertising group WPP sticks to full-year outlook despite slowdown

LONDON (Reuters) – WPP Plc, the advertising group run by high-profile executive Martin Sorrell, posted a slightly lower-than-expected 3 percent quarterly sales rise, reflecting growing concerns over geopolitical tensions and a slowdown in the global economy.

The British group, owner of the JWT and Ogilvy & Mather agencies, reiterated its full-year sales target however and outperformed its major rivals due to its broad geographical reach and strong presence in digital advertising.

Oct 30, 2014

BT targets big spenders as broadband battle intensifies

LONDON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Britain’s BT said it would
not be drawn into a price war with rivals such as BSkyB,
as it offset slower broadband growth in its second quarter with
customers paying more for superfast internet connections and
sports TV.

The 168-year-old former telecoms monopoly has transformed
its business in recent years by investing in a new fibre network
and offering a sports television service for broadband
subscribers to increase customer loyalty.

Oct 30, 2014

Serious Fraud Office launches probe into Tesco accounting scandal

LONDON (Reuters) – Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has opened a formal criminal investigation into accounting errors at Tesco, raising the stakes in a scandal that has hammered the reputation of the country’s biggest grocer.

Already battling challenges on multiple fronts, Tesco said on Wednesday it had been notified of the SFO’s new investigation into the 263 million-pound ($424 million) overstatement of its first-half profits that has led to the suspension of eight senior members of staff.

Oct 30, 2014

Britain’s Fraud Office launches probe into Tesco accounting scandal

LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Britain’s Serious Fraud Office
(SFO) has opened a formal criminal investigation into accounting
errors at Tesco, raising the stakes in a scandal that
has hammered the reputation of the country’s biggest grocer.

Already battling challenges on multiple fronts, Tesco said
on Wednesday it had been notified of the SFO’s new investigation
into the 263 million-pound ($424 million) overstatement of its
first-half profits that has led to the suspension of eight
senior members of staff.

Oct 29, 2014

SFO launches criminal probe into Tesco accounting

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched a formal criminal investigation into accounting errors at Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research), adding to the intense scrutiny of the country’s biggest grocer.

Tesco was already being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after the group revealed the discovery of a 263 million pound hole in its accounts, adding to a string of recent profit warnings and management departures to nearly halve the company’s market value this year.

Oct 29, 2014

Britain’s Fraud Office launches criminal probe into Tesco accounting

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched a formal criminal investigation into accounting errors at Tesco (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), adding to the intense scrutiny of the country’s biggest grocer.

Tesco was already being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after the group revealed the discovery of a 263 million pound ($424 million) hole in its accounts, adding to a string of recent profit warnings and management departures to nearly halve the company’s market value this year.

Oct 24, 2014

Bond investors take fright at Tesco’s fall from grace

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Investors demanded higher yields
to hold Tesco’s debt on Friday while the cost of
insuring against default rose sharply after ratings downgrades
left Britain’s biggest grocer hovering just above junk status.

Though Tesco does not face any short-term liquidity issues
and has significant spare cash and undrawn bank facilities at
its disposal, first-half interest costs amounted to almost 80
percent of its operating profit.

Oct 22, 2014

Tesco’s results set to reveal extent of accounting scandal

LONDON (Reuters) – Dave Lewis, the new boss of crisis-hit British grocer Tesco Plc (TSCO.L: Quote, Profile, Research), will face his first public test on Thursday when he reveals the damage caused by a financial scandal on a business already losing popularity with shoppers.

Britain’s biggest retailer has been reeling since Sept. 22 when it said an earlier profit warning had still overstated first-half group profit by around 250 million pounds, wiping a fifth off its market value.

Oct 16, 2014

New Tesco boss likely to sell assets to fund recovery plan

LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Just six weeks into his job,
Tesco boss Dave Lewis must look at selling assets in
Britain and abroad as he battles to raise funds to pull the
world’s No.3 grocer out of the deepest crisis in its 95-year
history.

Trading at the British retailer has deteriorated to such an
extent that its debt and ballooning pension deficit mean it
could do with more cash. And that’s even before it starts to
consider the cost of a plan to revive sales.

    • About Kate

      "I am based in London and cover the UK media and telecoms sectors including BSkyB, Vodafone and WPP. I have previously covered UK general news and sports including major events such as the Olympics and football World Cups."
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