Morrisons has reported that like-for-like sales were down 6.4% in Q2, improving only towards the end of the quarter as Mother’s Day and Easter sales bolstered its performance.
The company’s adjusted EBITDA grew by £9m to £71m, up from £62m the prior year, reflecting recovery of profit from areas that were impacted by Covid and cost savings.
Revenue for the 13 weeks was also £4.59bn, an increase of £115m (2.6%) compared to £4.47bn last year. This increase was said to have been primarily due to recovery of fuel sales, which saw an increase by 54%, and was partly offset by a decline in Supermarket LFL in a normalising grocery market environment post Covid.
The data also takes into account the company’s effort to help its customers deal with increased living expenses, as Morrisons had launched “one of its biggest ever” price cut campaigns in April, which is said to have involved over 500 products.
David Potts, Morrisons CEO, said: “In a very fragile and difficult consumer environment, Morrisons has continued to deliver a resilient performance. This quarter traded over a period of significant Covid restrictions last year when travel and hospitality were both severely limited. As those two activities returned to more normal patterns this year, we saw very strong growth in fuel sales but a step back in grocery.
“Retail like-for-like sales in the quarter were also impacted by the discounts we offered last year to NHS staff, teachers, farmers and Blue Light cardholders, as a thank-you for their amazing work on behalf of the nation through Covid.”
He added: “Covid brought into sharp focus the competitive advantage, flexibility and speed that owning our own manufacturing operations brings. Our 20 food maker operations around the country are playing an important role in helping us to deliver great value and quality to our customers during another difficult period.
“I want to thank Morrisons colleagues for their dedication and hard work in helping the business rise once again to meet the new challenges of the cost of living crisis. We are determined that colleagues’ pay, health, well-being and happiness must remain at the very centre of our thinking as we start a new and important phase in the company’s history.”