Sales slide at Morrisons as consumers struggle

Group like-for-like (LFL) sales excluding fuel fell 4.2% at Morrisons during the Bradford-headquartered supermarket chain’s 2021/22 full year of trading.

As rampant inflation punished shoppers, the business also saw a 15% year-on-year decline in adjusted EBITDA to £828m, with total revenue up 2.2% to £18.4bn.

Morrisons warns that high food price inflation, rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine means there is a continuing sense of uncertainty in consumer sentiment.

But it adds that it achieved improved sales momentum during 2021/22 and into Christmas, while its acquisition of the McColl’s chain has delivered a “leading position” in the convenience market.

David Potts, Morrisons chief executive, said: “In a very difficult period for consumers and businesses alike, we are continuing to do everything we can to keep prices down for customers and to support our colleagues.

“As a vertically integrated retailer, we felt the impacts of last year’s racing inflation more immediately than our competitors and this did have an impact on our pricing position.

“Our Christmas trading continued the positive momentum of the last two quarters with a 2.5% increase in sales against last year.

“Looking ahead, this current year has many opportunities. We have clear plans to continue to invest in price and in hours in our stores; to open new supermarkets and further refresh the core estate; to invest in McColl’s and accelerate the conversion programme; to develop further the fast-growing My Morrisons app and to grow volumes through our unique food making operations around the country.”