Sales fall by 6.3% at Morrisons across the quarter

Morrisons is currently amidst a three-year restructuring plan which will see some 2,600 store management jobs shed from its workforce

Andrew Matthews/PA Wire Morrisons supermarket
Morrisons supermarket

Sales have fallen further at supermarket chain Morrisons, the firm’s third quarter results show.

Like-for-like sales were down 6.3% in the 13 weeks to November 2 as the grocer said it would take time for initiatives such as its Match and More scheme to benefit sales performance.

Morrisons is currently amidst a three-year restructuring plan which will see some 2,600 store management jobs shed from its workforce.

The plan is designed to generate £2bn of cash and £1bn of cost savings over three years.

The rollout of its convenience store concept M local continued with 12 openings. Morrisons said it was on target to open 60-70 of the stores by the end of the year.

Chief executive Dalton Philips said he was “encouraged by the further progress” the firm had made as underlying pre-tax profit forecasts were revised to between £335m-£365m, from previous estimates of between £325m-£375m.

Mr Philips said: “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.

“The launch of the Match and More card was another big move for Morrisons. We are the only supermarket that is price matching the discounters and the successful launch last month was a testament to the positive way our 120,000 colleagues are delivering innovation and embracing the changes at Morrisons.

“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.”

Progress on debt reduction was said to be particularly encouraging, as end-of-year net debt was expected to be between £2.3bn-£2.4bn, £100m better than initial estimates.

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