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Morrison W.Sprmkts (MRW)

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Thursday 07 November, 2013

Morrison W.Sprmkts

Interim Management Statement

RNS Number : 4047S
Morrison(Wm.)Supermarkets PLC
07 November 2013
 



News Release

 

Release date: 7 November 2013

 

Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC

Q3 Interim Management Statement - 13 weeks to 3 November 2013

 

Morrisons third quarter performance was in line with its expectations.  In the quarter to 3 November 2013, total store sales* excluding fuel were up by 1.0% (up 0.1% including fuel) with like for like sales* down 2.4% (down 3.0% including fuel). Consumer confidence remains subdued and we continue to see  heavy promotional activity across the industry.  As previously indicated, our low exposure to the sector's key growth areas of convenience and online continues to impact the sales performance of the Group.

 

We are however progressing well with our plans to develop a significant presence in these channels. With a clear, online fresh food proposition now in place, the ranging and marketing plan has been finalised and the technology platform and integration are nearing completion. In January 2014, as planned, we will commence online food deliveries in Warwickshire direct from the Dordon CFC followed by an extension to Yorkshire shortly thereafter, using a delivery spoke in Leeds. By the end of 2014 we expect to be serving over 50% of UK homes, including London.

 

We opened a further 36 M local convenience stores during the quarter bringing the total to 69 across the country, of which around half are in London and the South East, the important growth area for Morrisons.  We are pleased with their performance and remain on track to have 100 M local stores open by the end of the current year. We confirm today that our target is to open a further 100 M locals in 2014/15. Our new distribution centre in Bury is now operational and will support the expansion of our convenience network in the North West.  

 

We have made further good progress in delivering on our other strategic initiatives. Our innovative Fresh Format concept was introduced into a further 42 stores, including two new stores, and we are well on track to meet our target of converting 100 stores to Fresh Format by the end of the year. The performance of these stores and customer feedback remain strong.

 

The first phase of our Own Brand development programme has been completed with some 11,000 improved products relaunched. The second phase, focusing on  driving efficiencies through our supply chain, has now commenced.

 

Early in October we introduced our new Pick of the Shop offers and our Big Christmas Bonus scheme to reward loyal customers.  Our Christmas advertising campaign launches tomorrow with the theme "Go on it's Christmas". Our aim is to help customers treat themselves and their families this Christmas with award-winning food at affordable prices. Our promotional plan includes industry leading deals that matter to our customers.

 

The financial position of the Group remains strong with Group net debt of £2.7bn.

 

 

Dalton Philips, Chief Executive, said:

 

"We continue to grow our sales in this tough market whilst making great progress on our strategy to be a multi-channel retailer. I said at the outset that our online offer would be unmistakably Morrisons and I'm very confident that the service we unveil in January will live up to that promise. Many of our customers will be able to experience our distinctive online food service early in the new year and we expect to be able to serve 50% of UK homes by the end of the year. In convenience we are currently opening three M locals a week bringing the Morrisons brand to an ever increasing number of new customers. We've made good progress in strengthening our core proposition during the quarter and with Christmas just round the corner, we are pleased to see customers responding well to our Big Christmas Bonus and industry leading deals."

 

 

Outlook

 

We expect the market to remain challenging for the remainder of the year and continue to manage the business tightly.  Our performance in the third quarter was in line with our expectations and accordingly our financial outlook for the full year remains unchanged.   

 

*exc. VAT and reported in accordance with IFRIC 13

 

 

Enquiries:

 

Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc

 

Trevor Strain - Group Finance Director

0845 611 5000

Niall Addison - Investor Relations Director

07764 624701

 

Media Relations

 

Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc:

 

Richard Taylor

0845 611 6912

Julian Bailey

0845 611 5362

 

Citigate Dewe Rogerson:

 

Simon Rigby

020 7282 2847

Kevin Smith

020 7282 1054

 

There will be an analyst conference call at 9 a.m. today, the details of which are as follows:

 

Dial in number:

020 3003 2666

Passcode:

9443177

 

Replay facility available for 7 days

 

Replay access number:

020 8196 1998

Replay access code:

9443177

 

 

ENDS

 

This announcement may include forward looking statements, which are statements made about potential future events or occurrences. These statements are made by the Directors in good faith, based on the information available to them at the time of the announcement. Consequently such statements should be treated with caution due to the inherent uncertainties, including both economic and business risk factors, underlying such forward looking statements and information.


This information is provided by RNS
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