Morrisons is confident that changes made over the last year are yielding results. While the big four grocer posted its fourth year of annual profit decline it still beat city expectations, reporting pre-tax profit of £217m for the year to 31 January – up significantly from the £792m loss in the previous year.
As the supermarket giant, and rival players, are outshone by value retailers Aldi and Lidl, Morrisons has been doing whatever it can to cut corners and save costs.
It’s been just over a year since Tesco veteran David Potts took the helm at Britain’s fourth largest supermarket chain. One of his first port of calls was sending head office staff to the shop floor in order to improve the customer experience.
“By improving the shopping trip for customers, we have started the journey to turnaround the business and make our supermarkets strong,” he commented. “Our listening programme is informing and shaping the six priorities that are now driving the improvements that customers are noticing.
Our strong balance sheet and cash flow provide the platform for turnaround and growth, but what makes us truly unique as food maker and shopkeeper is the personality and dedication of our thousands of colleagues. I am confident these strengths will help us fix, rebuild and grow Morrisons.”
The big four grocer has been closing stores left, right and centre. Last year Morrisons abandoned its attempts in the convenience store sector and divested its ‘M Local’ outlets to turnaround specialist Greybull Capital. In January Potts cautioned that it would book £60m of restructuring costs for the full year.