Morrisons saw like-for-like sales (LFLs) drop by 2.7% in its first half – and has announced plans to close 11 stores.
In its interim results for the half year to 2 August, the supermarket said total turnover fell 5.1% to £81bn, while store turnover, excluding fuel, was down 1.1% to £6.4bn.
Profit before tax dropped by 47% to £126m during the period. Morrisons said that its store closure programme would also incur a one off cost of £20m
Yesterday, the supermarket chain said it was selling 140 M Local convenience stores to a team of investors, led by Mike Greene and backed by Greybull Capital for about £25m in cash.
David Potts, chief executive, said: “Since joining Morrisons, I have been struck by the passion and commitment of all our colleagues, and I want to thank them for their continued good work. Our colleagues have the key role in delivering an improved shopping trip for customers both in stores and online. Morrisons will be an organisation that listens. During the first half, the new executive and leadership teams have been listening hard to colleagues, customers, suppliers and shareholders. They tell us there is a lot for us to do.”
Morrisons said it would work on six priorities to build on its strengths and improve the customer shopping trip. These were:
- To be more competitive
- To serve customers better
- Find local solutions
- Develop popular and useful services
- To simplify and speed up the organisation
- To make the core supermarkets strong again
Potts added: “The immediate priority is to deliver a better shopping trip to stabilise trading performance. Our six strategic priorities will then deliver improvement in the core supermarkets, where we have the greatest opportunity.
“It will be a long journey. We approach the challenge with energy, confidence and many strengths, particularly our strong balance sheet and cash flow, which enables investment in improving the customer shopping trip.”