Supermarket Morrisons has been moving ahead strongly under chief executive David Potts, who came on board in 2015 to get the core operations back on track after several years of under-performance.
The former Tesco executive is growing Morrisons.com through its partnership with Amazon, after an exclusive deal with Ocado was relaxed in 2019, and is ramping up the grocer’s wholesale division with a series of partnerships to better leverage its vertically-integrated supply chain.
Morrisons was acquired by private equity group CD&R in October 2021, beating rival bidder Fortress at auction. The 287p-per-share offer valued Morrisons at around £10bn, but saddled it with more than £5bn of debt which it is now aiming to pay down.
With the acquisition having been granted final approval by the CMA in June 2022, CD&R is reported to be mulling the sale of a selection of the group’s warehouses and food manufacturing plants in a bid to clear some of its debt.
CD&R has also gone on to acquire the embattled McColl’s convenience store business out of administration after an eleventh-hour tussle with Asda owner EG Group. The pre-pack deal, agreed in May 2022, means that all 1,100 McColl’s stores, including 270 already trading under the Morrisons Daily fascia, will transfer to Morrisons’ ownership.
The retailer is reportedly planning to convert the 1,000 McColl’s shops into the Morrisons Daily format within the next few years.
Bolstered by soaring inflation and fuel sales, Morrisons’ total group sales came in at £18,390m over the 52 weeks to end October 2022 (FY2022). This is a 2.2% increase compared with sales of £17,980m in FY2021.
Like-for-like sales excluding fuel fell 4.2% in FY2022. However, on a three-year-basis, the figure were up 2.6%, and up 3.4% including fuel.
Innovation rating: 2