Sales and EBITDA rise on the back of good performance across the business
Morrisons has credited its competitiveness at the tills for a decent full-year trading performance.
The supermarket chain reported group revenue for the year, excluding fuel, up 2.7 per cent to £14.9bn. Group like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose 3.3 per cent in the fourth quarter and 1.8 per cent for the year, representing six consecutive quarters of like-for-like improvement.
Retail sales, which includes supermarkets, online and convenience (from the third quarter onwards), contributed 2.9 per cent in the quarter. Within that, online grew 1.6 per cent and convenience, which includes McColl’s, grew by nine per cent.
Wholesale contributed a further 0.4 per cent, with double-digit wholesale like-for-like growth maintained throughout the year, Morrisons said. Underlying EBITDA was £970m, up by 6.5 per cent from £911m last year.
The one area of negativity was in net new space, with four stores closing. This was partially offset by new stores at Bath Southgate, Chelmsford, Newcastle Great Park and a replacement store at Brentford.
Chief executive Rami Baitiéh said: “I have been at Morrisons for only a few months, but it’s already clear that we have an abundance of talented colleagues, well-located shops, high-class food-making operations and a real point of difference with our Market Street butchers, fishmongers, bakers, cheesemongers and deli counters.
”We’re competitive online, our convenience and wholesale operations are growing fast and I have seen the affection and goodwill that our customers, supplier partners and farmers have for Morrisons.
“Reporting today our sixth consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales improvement is very positive. But there is so much more we can do, and together with my colleagues, we are developing plans to reinvigorate, refresh and strengthen Morrisons and to start a new chapter, which begins with our customers.
”Across the business we are listening hard to what our customers are telling us and taking action, and we are just beginning to see our customer satisfaction scores improve. This will be the bedrock of our next chapter.”