British supermarket Morrisons just revealed that it not only had a tough 2014, it also clocked up the worst set of profit results in eight years.
Morrisons confirmed in its 2014 results statement that
pre-tax profit plunged 52% to £345 million. Underlying earnings per share also fell by 53% to 10.9p.
The group, which owns an 11% share of the British grocery market, also said that 300 people will lose their jobs because the rollout of their smaller, express M stores would be “slowed significantly.”
“Last year’s trading environment was tough, and we don’t expect any change this year. However, Morrisons is a strong, distinctive business – we own most of our supermarkets, have strong cash flow, and are famous with customers for great quality fresh food at low prices. This gives us a good platform,” said Andrew Higginson, Chairman at Morrisons in the results statement.
“David Potts joins as Chief Executive next week. Under his leadership, we will focus on building trading momentum and being more like the Morrisons our customers expect. Success measures will be simple – more customers buying more from us. More customers means more volume growth which, ultimately, will lead to better like-for-like, profitability and shareholder returns.”
Potts will replace Dalton Philips who was axed by the company after five years in the job for dismal Christmas sales.
Sales over the Christmas period, even excluding fuel, were down 3.1% like-for-like, with a 5.2% drop when petrol was included. That’s for the six weeks to 4 January 2015.
The Morrisons stock price was down by nearly 2% in the market open. Shares are down over 12% from the last year.