Morrisons cut almost 9,000 jobs as £1bn loss recorded last year, accounts reveal

Yorkshire supermarket chain Morrisons cut almost 9,000 jobs as it made a loss of more than £1 billion last year, driven by soaring debt financing costs.

The Bradford-based retailer, which was bought for £7 billion by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) in 2021, reported the heavy loss for the year to October 29 in freshly filed Companies House accounts.

The £1.09 billion pre-tax loss came after the company recorded a £1.52 billion loss in the previous year.

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It revealed the latest loss came after it paid out £735 million of financing costs, which were linked to the firm’s mammoth debts and higher interest rates. It was up on the £593m of financing costs recorded for the 12 months before.

Morrisons has recorded a substantial loss in its latest resultsMorrisons has recorded a substantial loss in its latest results
Morrisons has recorded a substantial loss in its latest results

Prior to the takeover, Morrisons had net debt obligations of around £3.2 billion.

The accounts showed the parent company – titled Market Topco following the takeover – had net debts of £8.5 billion at the end of October last year.

Morrisons has since said it will cut its debt pile by using funds from a £2.5 billion deal to sell its 337 petrol forecourts to Motor Fuel Group (MFG), which is also owned by CD&R.

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In the last financial year, Morrisons also reported revenues of £18.35 billion, down from £18.72 billion a year earlier.

During the year, the company also reduced its staffing levels by almost 9,000 workers to just shy of 105,000 employees.

The retailer has come under significant pressure from the growth of discounter rivals, with Aldi overtaking Morrisons as the UK’s fourth biggest supermarket chain in 2022.

In January, its new boss said it was developing plans to “reinvigorate, refresh and strengthen” the supermarket group.

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Rami Baitieh, who was appointed chief executive of Morrisons in November, said the business had “work to do” to improve its ranges, pricing and experience for customers.

Mr Baitieh previously said in January that the company is developing plans to “reinvigorate, refresh and strengthen” the business.

Speaking after it was revealed that total revenues of the chain had increased by 2.7 per cent to £14.9 billion over the year to October 29, he said at the time: “Reporting today our sixth consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales improvement is very positive.

“But there is so much more we can do, and together with my colleagues, we are developing plans to reinvigorate, refresh and strengthen Morrisons and to start a new chapter – which begins with our customers.

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“I have been at Morrisons for only a few months, but it’s already clear that we have an abundance of talented colleagues, well-located shops, high-class food-making operations and a real point of difference with our Market Street butchers, fishmongers, bakers, cheesemongers and deli counters.”

Morrisons’s owner CD&R has also recently hired former Tesco boss Sir Dave Lewis as an adviser.

Sir Dave said: “I believe the depth of CD&R’s operating and investment expertise across the consumer goods, retail, and other sectors in Europe to be incredibly strong.

“I look forward to working with CD&R’s investment and operating teams, as well as the management teams of the firm’s portfolio companies to identify investment opportunities, support strong performance and create durable businesses fit for the future.”

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