Morrisons reports losses of £1bn

Morrisons made losses of £1 billion in 2023, the UK supermarket chain announced on Tuesday.

The company, owned by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, said that it had finance costs of £735 million for the year to 29 October, up from £593 million in the previous year. This figure includes interest on external debt and other non-cash charges, and £400 million of annual interest payments of borrowings of over £5 billion.

Overall the company reported revenue of £18 billion, with a loss before tax of £1 billion – down from a loss before tax of £1.5 billion in the year prior.

According to a source cited by the Financial Times, Morrisons will not need to refinance its debt until 2027.

The supermarket has struggled to contend with the shifting grocery market, with the rise of German discount retailers Aldi and Lidl causing a major stir among competitors. The likes of Tesco and Aldi have slashed prices to better compete, while the more up-market Waitrose and M&S have continued to do well with their more affluent demographic.

Morrisons chief exec Rami Baitiéh, who took up the role in November 2023, conceded as much in January when he told journalists in January that the company had not been “on peak form” since the Covid-19 pandemic. He noted that the company’s market share had “slipped slowly but consistently” and said it had “work to do” on improving its services and pricing.

On Tuesday Morrisons said that its latest results “highlights the progress the company has made, delivering six consecutive quarters of like-for-like growth.”

The company in January announced the £2.5 billion sale of its petrol forecourt business to Motor Fuel Group (MFG), which has been owned by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice since 2015.

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