Supermarket Morrisons has seen sales drop by 6.4 per cent in the second quarter of the year, blaming a “very fragile and difficult consumer environment.”
In a trading update for the 13 weeks ending 1 May, the grocer said it had experienced a “very challenging” trading environment with cash-strapped Brits tightening their belts as inflation surges past 40-year highs.
While like-for-like sales had dipped over the quarter, trading had improved towards the end of the quarter, buoyed by strong sales over Mother’s Day and Easter.
The grocer, which was snapped up by New York-based private equity titan CD&R last year said that adjusted EBITDA grew £9m to £71m, compared to the same period in the year before.
Its revenue was boosted 2.6 per cent over the quarter, due to the recovery of fuel sales which soared 54 per cent.
“In a very fragile and difficult consumer environment, Morrisons has continued to deliver a resilient performance,” Morrisons CEO David Potts, said.
He added: “This quarter traded over a period of significant Covid restrictions last year when travel and hospitality were both severely limited. As those two activities returned to more normal patterns this year, we saw very strong growth in fuel sales but a step back in grocery.
“Retail like-for-like sales in the quarter were also impacted by the discounts we offered last year to NHS staff, teachers, farmers and Blue Light cardholders, as a thank-you for their amazing work on behalf of the nation through Covid.”