Morrisons’ earnings halved amid ‘very subdued’ consumer sentiment

Morrisons has revealed that earnings were cut in half over the past quarter as rising household bills impacted customer spending.

The supermarket group, which was bought by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for £7 billion last year, has revealed it posted adjusted earnings of £177 million over the 13 weeks to July 31, compared with £356 million over the same period last year.

Profitability was impacted by weaker grocery sales in the face of “very subdued” consumer sentiment.

Morrisons said that group like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, fell by 3.1% over the third quarter to £4.78 billion.

Sales for the company’s financial year so far are down 4.9% year-on-year.

Morrisons financials
Morrisons chief executive David Potts (Mikael Buck/Morrisons/PA)

Sales were higher once fuel prices are taken into account, following surges in petrol and diesel prices.

The retailer said it is cutting prices among 150 of its most popular items as it seeks to address customer concerns regarding inflation.

David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “It’s clear that the cost-of-living crisis is starting to change customer shopping patterns in many ways.

“The speed, scale and severity of cost and energy price increases, exacerbated by the terrible war in Ukraine, had significant impacts through the quarter, but the market is still growing and the energy price guarantee will ease pressure on consumers.

“We are doing everything we can to keep prices down for customers.

“I want to thank all Morrisons colleagues for their continued hard work and dedication to helping our customers through an exceptionally difficult period for UK consumers.”