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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC    MRW   GB0006043169

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Wm. Morrison Supermarkets plc : Morrison's Profit Pressured by Tough Christmas

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01/09/2014 | 10:06am CET

LONDON--Morrison Supermarkets PLC (MRW.LN) said Thursday that full-year profit would be at the low end of market expectations as customers cut spending over the Christmas period and it was hit by its continuing absence from the online market.

"In a very tough market our sales performance over Christmas was disappointing. However we are firmly focused on driving our core business and accelerating our penetration of the fast growing channels," Chief Executive Dalton Philips said.

In the six weeks ended Jan. 5, the U.K. supermarket chain's total sales excluding fuel were down by 1.9%. With fuel included, the figure was 3.3%. Like-for-like sales were down 5.6%, excluding fuel and 7.1% including fuel.

Analysts' forecasts put Morrison's full-year underlying profit in the range of 783 million pounds ($1.29 billion) to GBP853 million, giving a consensus figure of GBP812 million, according to data compiled by the company.

In spite of a tough market, Morrison's insisted that its profit outlook was "resilient."

It said difficult conditions were intensified by the growing importance of online and convenience shopping, where Morrison is under-represented, and by targeted couponing, which was particularly prevalent this Christmas.

The company has 85 convenience stores and aims to have 200 by the end of 2014-15, while its online food operation is ready to launch, it said.

Morrison's shares closed Wednesday at 254 pence, giving the company a market value of GBP5.94 billion.

Write to Digby Larner at digby.larner@wsj.com

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Financials ( GBP)
Sales 2017 16 212 M
EBIT 2017 433 M
Net income 2017 243 M
Debt 2017 1 020 M
Yield 2017 2,19%
P/E ratio 2017 23,77
P/E ratio 2018 20,03
EV / Sales 2017 0,42x
EV / Sales 2018 0,40x
Capitalization 5 727 M
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Sell
Buy
Mean consensus UNDERPERFORM
Number of Analysts 18
Average target price 2,07  GBP
Spread / Average Target -15%
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Managers
NameTitle
David T. Potts Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Andrew Thomas Higginson Non-Executive Chairman
Trevor Strain Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Daniel Beecham Chief Information Officer
Belinda J. Richards Independent Non-Executive Director
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