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Woolworths shares slide on credit rating

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Woolworths shares have dropped six per cent after the supermarket giant had its credit rating downgraded following poor sales figures.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Woolworths by one notch from BBB+ (outlook negative) to BBB (outlook stable) on Wednesday.

The news dragged Woolworths shares down $1.34, or 6.02 per cent, to $20.93 by 1243 AEST.

That’s just above the near 10-year low of $20.69 it hit in mid-April.

The downgrade came a day after Woolworths reported that comparable food and liquor sales, a key growth indicator, fell 0.9 per cent in the 13 weeks to April, with total sales amounting to $10.7 billion.

It was a fourth consecutive quarter of declining like-for-like sales for Woolworths, while smaller rival Coles continues to grow.

Coles last month reported an impressive 4.9 per cent jump in comparable food and liquor sales for the third quarter, gaining market share at the expense of Woolworths.

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