Morrisons have said an improving trend in underlying sales helped lift the British supermarket group’s core earnings by 6.5% last year
This was due to more competitive prices by the retailer and the introduction of a new customer loyalty scheme.
The British retailer said its underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) on revenue was £970 million in the year to 29 October 2023.
This number excluded fuel, which was up 2.7%to £14.9 billion.
Morrisons said its fourth quarter like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, were up 3.3% which was a sixth straight quarter of improvement. It did not comment on Christmas trading.
Based on research from Kantar, Morrisons had been losing UK grocery market share, ending 2023 with 8.8%, down 30 basis points on the year.
Speaking on the supermarket’s recent performance, chief executive Rami Baitiéh said that despite the retailer’s strengths, it must not be satisfied with its performance.
“Since the pandemic, Morrisons has not been on peak form,” Baitiéh said.
“Our market share has slipped, slowly but consistently, our like-for-likes (sales), although on an improving and encouraging trend now, have been below the pack for a while, and the switching data has not been encouraging.”
He went on to say that he was working on plans to address the situation, with a focus on listening to customers and staff.
As part of improvement plans, Baitiéh said they no longer held major meetings without input from customers and every store had two “customer round tables” a month, with struggling stores hosting them once a week.
He is also holding online meetings with Morrisons’ top 100 people every evening six days a week.
"Already we are making progress, change is underway at Morrisons," he said.
The news comes just after the supermarket group announced the sale of petrol forecourts to Motor Fuel Group (MFG) in a deal worth £2.5 billion.