Morrisons suffered a 6.3% fall in sales for the year on a like-for-like basis, which is a vast improvement on the 7.6% fall in the previous quarter.
Chief executive Dalton Philips said he was “encouraged by the further progress we have made”. He went on further to say; “Morrisons is meeting the challenges created by a period of intense industry competition and structural change with quick and decisive action.” He was referring to the strategy put in place earlier this year in March, which saw the company investing £1 billion in price cuts over three years.
The company also recently launched a new loyalty card scheme which allows customer to price match their shopping against discount supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi. This was reported last month in Retail Gazette and has the opportunity to improve customer confidence and reduce the cost of a customer’s shopping and ultimately help the chain recapture market share. Morrisons is proving their place in the harsh world of the supermarket wars. Mr Philips said; “The combination of these factors should give confidence to customers – they don’t need to split their baskets.”
Despite the good news, the group’s total sales, excluding fuel, were down 3.6%, they also announced that the average number of items bought by customers was down 2.4% year-on-year, however this figure is much better than the 6.9% recorded last year.
The company has forecasted an underlying profit before tax to be in the narrower range of £335m-£365m compared to the previous guidance of £325m-£375m.
Dispute the drop in sales, Chief executive Dalton Philips said “There are some indications of progress - the financial stability mentioned at the interims seems to have been maintained given the group’s capital discipline, the ‘Match & More’ scheme is a clear statement of intent, and the roll out of convenience stores remains on track.”