Morrisons’ woes continue

Morrisons has again posted poor results after what it described as a period of “intense industry competition”.

In the retailer’s third quarter results (the three months ending 2 November 2014) total sales fell 6.3% compared with the same period last year.

Like-for-like sales per basket are also down 2.4% on last year, however Morrisons said this was significantly better than the low of -6.9% in Q4 2013/14.

The supermarket is undergoing a three year restructuring change which aims to save £1bn and in June announced 2,600 job losses.

Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips commented on the results: “Morrisons is meeting the challenges created by a period of intense industry competition and structural change with quick and decisive action. I am encouraged by the further progress we have made, especially on a number of key operational measures, cash flow and costs.”

Philips said Christmas was a key time for the supermarket: “We look forward to the key Christmas period focussed on offering customers the best in quality fresh food and value for money that Morrisons is famous for.”

However retail analyst at Economist Intelligence Unit, Jon Copestake said the supermarket faces several challeneges over the festive period: “Although the problems Tesco is encountering have hogged retail headlines in recent months, the continuing loss of share from Morrisons will not have gone unnoticed. With Danish discounter Netto now opening stores in Morrisons heartlands in the North of England the challenges faced by the retailer are mounting and much will depend on how quickly the mooted turnaround plan can yield results.”

Morrisons remains positive in its outlook for the year, however now expect underlying profits before tax to be in the narrower range of £335m-£365m (previously £325m-£375m), due to restructuring costs.

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