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Morrisons Signals Lower Dividend After Profit Slumps

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http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/uk-morrison-supermk-results-idUKKBN0M80IS20150312

Britain's fourth biggest supermarket Morrisons signalled it would cut its dividend in 2015 after it reported its lowest annual profit in eight years on Thursday, hurt by a fierce industry price war.

The profit slump reflects Morrisons' strategic U-turn last year when it said it would spend 1 billion pounds on price cuts over three years to stem the loss of shoppers to the discounters Aldi and Lidl.

..

That compares to analysts' average forecast of 342 million pounds and 785 million pounds made in 2013-14. It represents a third straight year of decline.

It also wrote down the value of its property portfolio by 1.3 billion pounds, due to the tough market conditions. As a result it posted an overall loss before tax of 792 million pounds.

That's one large property write down. Supermarket property price crash?

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But unemployment is low, GDP is healthy, and the incumbent government have been rewarding hardworking families with their long-term economic plan to help pay down the deficit. Why oh why are the middleground supermarkets struggling? Don't they know we've been in a sustained recovery for the last 2 years?

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MRW bulls have long been saying that the value of their property meant that the company was worth a higher share price.

Saying that though, the share price has held up well so far this morning and is well abve the £1.50 low.

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MRW bulls have long been saying that the value of their property meant that the company was worth a higher share price.

Saying that though, the share price has held up well so far this morning and is well abve the £1.50 low.

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MRW bulls have long been saying that the value of their property meant that the company was worth a higher share price.

Saying that though, the share price has held up well so far this morning and is well abve the £1.50 low.

Erm, where do you get that from?

Owning property is of value in that it reduces costs (no rent). But the value of the property portfolio only matters if someone is going to asset-strip the business.

Just like the value of a private house is immaterial if you only want the house as a place to live.

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I noticed that they have removed the newly installed 'misters' for the vegetables in our local branch.

For me that summed up the folly of the management who seemed to want to turn themselves into M&S Plus so they could feel proud when talking to their 'friends' at their middle class dinner parties.

Not all branches are the same.

But I'd take Morrisons over M&S or Waitrose (for food) any day. That's a simple question of quality over snob value.

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Actually used a Morrisons a few times lately for the odd items. Just can't believe people choose to shop there out of choice. Examples.............Morrisons no frills peanuts 100g......75p. Tesco/ Lidl no frills peanuts 200g (twice the size) 48p. More expensive by a factor of 3.125 times. Other basics like bread simply astronomical. Also use to picking up a decent bottle of Cabernet red for about £3.49 at Tesco no chance at Morrison.

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Also A hefty writedown on presumably property , plant and equipment. I don't know if Tesco and Sainsbury have written down their aassets.

Also seems to be sector wide as John Lewis numbers also affected by poor Waitrose year on year performance.

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property - large out of town retail stores with big rates bills - has probably been in the books at inflated values for a while for most supermarkets now

looking at the example of tesco: mothballing sites, not opening almost finished stores etc. Do you want to buy one of those sites? At any price?

internet / home shopping, smaller and more conveniently located 'top up stores' are where the market is going surely

I would say that it is quite easy to see a time when a big out of town store that costs a fortune to run properly is a liability, not an asset

then what?

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Not all branches are the same.

But I'd take Morrisons over M&S or Waitrose (for food) any day. That's a simple question of quality over snob value.

This^.... all branches are diffidently not the same....some you love others there is nothing about them to love....still support them. ;)

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Property Week ...

Shares in Morrison fell 3.2% to 200p in early Thursday trading, but recovered to 206p by mid-morning. “Last year’s trading environment was tough, and we don’t expect any change this year,” Andrew Higginson, Morrisons chairman said.

Phil Dorrell, director of retail consultants, Retail Remedy, said: “This is a rout, not a reversal. With the most dated stores and weakest business strategy of the old guard grocers, Morrisons has truly been put to the sword by the rise of Aldi and Lidl. The brand has haemorrhaged both sales and share to the brash young discounters who took its cheap prices USP, improved it, and then unceremoniously yanked the rug from underneath it. Next to the perky German upstarts it has increasingly looked neither cheap nor cheerful. Despite a modest pick up over Christmas, 2014 was a truly awful year for Morrisons - with annual pre-tax losses quadrupling to nearly £800m. The brand’s property portfolio is one of its few ‘get out of jail’ cards - and the £131m profit it made from dumping property assets was a rare bright point in a truly awful set of results.”

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property - large out of town retail stores with big rates bills - has probably been in the books at inflated values for a while for most supermarkets now

looking at the example of tesco: mothballing sites, not opening almost finished stores etc. Do you want to buy one of those sites? At any price?

internet / home shopping, smaller and more conveniently located 'top up stores' are where the market is going surely

I would say that it is quite easy to see a time when a big out of town store that costs a fortune to run properly is a liability, not an asset

then what?

Well the writedowns IMO could be going for for many years if like for like sales carry on falling year after year as expected cashflows reduce. Prices are falling and also probably households are also squeezing their food budgets. Debt could be a problem for some in sector. Presumably now they'll all have to mothball sites in line with sales declines to maintain profitability over time. I am not sure what exactly went wrong with the modelling but the big chains seem to have over-expanded?

This is not advice.

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Ken Morrison must be livid at seeing everything he built turn to shit over the course of a few short years.

They simply lost their way. Having said that I can't say I'm sorry to see them struggling. I worked there as a student and they treat me (and all their other members of staff) like something you scrape of your shoe.

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But I don't get it, these CEOs are paid top wack because the market deems them as the best of the best, and yet they all fook up...

Edited by PopGun

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Trouble at Mill ...

MORE senior managers at Bradford-based supermarket chain Morrisons are to be axed by new chief executive David Potts, it was revealed today.

Management posts are being culled as the struggling supermarket giant attempts to streamline its operations to take on the burgeoning success of its discount rivals. About 20 bosses at the Bradford-based company are being axed by the new chief executive, David Potts, in the latest move to counter the firm’s multi-million pound losses. It is the second time in a week that Mr Potts has wielded the axe at the struggling grocer, in what has been described as “a bloodbath in Bradford”. Last night, City analyst Clive Black of Shore Capital said that the quick pace of change would be welcomed if it secures the future of WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc. Mr Black told The Yorkshire Post: “Morrisons has been under-performing for some time. The culture that emerged reflected poorly on the leadership, and the lieutenants in tow.” Barely a week after joining the business, Mr Potts announced that he was disposing of the services of five directors on the 11-strong management team. Yesterday, it was confirmed that he is also culling the next tier of management.A Morrisons spokesman said: ”Following last week’s announcement of a reshaped management board, we have also had a number of redundancy conversations with senior managers at the next level in our organisation. These steps are aimed at creating a simpler, leaner Morrisons.” The Yorkshire Post understands that about 20 senior jobs are going as part of the latest move. Mr Potts has hit the ground running, as he bids to revive a firm which recently slumped to a £792m full-year loss, and has been losing market share to German rivals Aldi and Lidl. His predecessor, Dalton Philips, was ousted after a torrid period. Morrisons is fighting to reverse falling sales, profits and market share after discounters moved into the grocer’s Northern heartlands, as Mr Philips tried to modernise the business. His five-year reign as chief executive was brought to an end by chairman Andy Higginson in January. In his first week as CEO, Mr Potts launched a campaign to receive customer and staff feedback. Mr Potts also announced that he would work in a store over Easter, and he encouraged other head office staff to do the same. He also purchased Morrisons shares worth more than £1m. Mr Potts, a former Tesco executive, was described by one insider as “a force of nature”. “David’s in control, no doubt about that,” the insider added. Responding to the latest management cull, Mr Black said: “For those involved ‎in the rationalisation and change at Morrisons’ head office, this is a very difficult and worrying time. “No senior management team enjoys this sort of decision-making. “However, Morrisons simply has not been performing well enough, and if such fundamental change did not take place, then the subsequent implications for the group would have been greater still - possibly fatal.”

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/business-news/bloodbath-in-bradford-in-wake-of-792m-morrisons-losses-1-7182065

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Guest UK Debt Slave

I'm intrigued by Morrisons' woes

Our local Morrisons is by far the best local supermarket where I live. Much cheaper than the other local s/markets with excellent quality food

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I'm intrigued by Morrisons' woes

Our local Morrisons is by far the best local supermarket where I live. Much cheaper than the other local s/markets with excellent quality food

Same here. ;)

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Got to say I have to applaud the new Morrisons express stores in urban areas. Coffee and cake for a combo £1.50, pretty much making Greggs deal of £2.00 redundant. Greggs get reducing, deflation bring it on.

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Guest UK Debt Slave

Got to say I have to applaud the new Morrisons express stores in urban areas. Coffee and cake for a combo £1.50, pretty much making Greggs deal of £2.00 redundant. Greggs get reducing, deflation bring it on.

Greggs are just pi$$takers

75p for a 300ml bottle of water?????????? WHHHAAAATTTTT!

I refuse to even cross the doorway into one

I also firmly believe that the contents of the Greggs sausage roll should be the subject of an intensive forensic investigation because I'm pretty sure there's nothing even remotely related to pork in that pink sludge they fill them with.

http://greggsadventure.com/pastries/sausage-rolls/

The comments underneath the article are hilarious

Edited by UK Debt Slave

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http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/16/morrisons-to-cut-700-head-office-jobs

There was an article yesterday suggesting head office jobs would be cut (700) and an increase in shop floor staff. The article mentioned voluntary redundancy and re-deployment. Interesting as was a major change in the labour force and I expect average salaries.

Edited by Ash4781

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Greggs are just pi$$takers

75p for a 300ml bottle of water?????????? WHHHAAAATTTTT!

I refuse to even cross the doorway into one

I also firmly believe that the contents of the Greggs sausage roll should be the subject of an intensive forensic investigation because I'm pretty sure there's nothing even remotely related to pork in that pink sludge they fill them with.

http://greggsadventure.com/pastries/sausage-rolls/

The comments underneath the article are hilarious

Agree 100%.

Was in Morrisons yesterday and got two of their chicken slices from the bakery for £1.50.Bigger than Greggs and 30%+ cheaper.I like this new boss of Morrisons.He seems to be really tough,but a retailer like Ken was.The Morrisons near me started to get quiet last year but seems to be booming again.

They have a very low cost base as most of their stores are freehold.The last chief exec was crackers.I see them coming back strongly with this new team.

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Agree 100%.

Was in Morrisons yesterday and got two of their chicken slices from the bakery for £1.50.Bigger than Greggs and 30%+ cheaper.I like this new boss of Morrisons.He seems to be really tough,but a retailer like Ken was.The Morrisons near me started to get quiet last year but seems to be booming again.

They have a very low cost base as most of their stores are freehold.The last chief exec was crackers.I see them coming back strongly with this new team.

No. retail focused solution enabler, MBA qualified.

Decide what people want to buy, stock it, sell it.

What could possibly go wrong? Oh yeah - spraying veg with water FFS!

I'd miss Morrissons.

I would not miss Tescos (and thats not being snobby, its just not that a good shop).

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