Morrisons like-for-likes plunge 6.4% in ‘fragile and difficult environment’

Earlier this year, Morrisons also launched a price cut campaign to help customers combat inflation
// Morrisons records “challenging” second quarter due to ongoing inflationary pressure
// For the 13 weeks ending May 1, like-for-like sales were down 6.4%

Morrisons had a “very challenging” second quarter after facing ongoing inflationary pressure and increasingly subdued consumer sentiment.

The Big Four supermarket said for the 13 weeks ending May 1, like-for-like sales were down 6.4% but improved towards the end of the quarter thanks to Mother’s Day and Easter.

Meanwhile, total revenue including fuel was up 2.6% to £4.6 billion.

READ MORE: Morrisons commercial director Andy Atkinson to exit as it scraps role

Earlier this year, Morrisons also launched a price cut campaign to help customers combat inflation. The campaign involved more than 500 products.

Adjusted EBITDA grew £9 million to £71 million, compared to the same period in the prior year reflecting recovery of profit from areas impacted by Covid and cost savings.

In May, Morrisons acquired the entire McColl’s convenience business from the administrators, comprising 1,160 stores – including 270 Morrisons Daily branded stores – together with 16,000 staff.

“In a very fragile and difficult consumer environment, Morrisons has continued to deliver a resilient performance,” Morrisons CEO, David Potts said.

“This quarter traded over a period of significant Covid restrictions last year when travel and hospitality were both severely limited. As those two activities returned to more normal patterns this year, we saw very strong growth in fuel sales but a step back in grocery.

“Retail like-for-like sales in the quarter were also impacted by the discounts we offered last year to NHS staff, teachers, farmers and Blue Light cardholders, as a thank-you for their amazing work on behalf of the nation through Covid.

“In April we launched one of our biggest ever price cut campaigns which included over 25% of our entry level products. But these are serious times and there is further serious work ahead of us as we help customers and colleagues face into the highest inflation for 40 years.

“Covid brought into sharp focus the competitive advantage, flexibility and speed that owning our own manufacturing operations brings. Our 20 food maker operations around the country are playing an important role in helping us to deliver great value and quality to our customers during another difficult period.

“Now that the CMA process has concluded, we are looking forward to working more closely with CD&R as we continue to drive the key pillars of our strategy, focused on being a broader, stronger, popular and accessible business.

“Together with CD&R, we are determined that colleagues’ pay, health, well-being and happiness must remain at the very centre of our thinking as we start a new and important phase in the company’s history.”

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