Morrisons has posted a £792m loss for the year to 1 February on the back of a £1,273m property impairment.
The retailer said underlying profits before tax fell 52% to £345m after Morrisons reset its pricing last year in a bid to fight back against the discounters.
Like-for-like sales excluding fuel fell 5.9% while total turnover was down 4.9% to £16.8bn.
Morrisons also confirmed this morning that it planned to close 23 M Local convenience stores with the loss of 300 jobs. It closed six outperforming stores last year and opened 57 bringing the total to 153.
“Convenience is a channel that we expect will continue to grow in future. Over recent years, we have been working to grow M Local at pace in order to quickly gain critical mass and learn. However, for stores now in their second year, we are not seeing the level of trading performance we had anticipated,” the retailer said.
“We will also slow new openings significantly, and review the M Local proposition and approach to site selection rather than pursue store number and turnover targets. We will update our future M local plans once the review is complete.”
Morrisons group CFO Trevor Strain said it was “effectively pausing convenience,” while chairman Andrew Higginson confirmed that “upwards of 30% of its c-stores haven’t worked.
However Higginson was quick to point out that the focus for Morrisons and incoming CEO David Potts, who starts next week, will be on the core supermarkets and “getting them firing.”
“David Potts joins as chief executive next week. Under his leadership, we will focus on building trading momentum and being more like the Morrisons our customers expect. We will invest more into the proposition and put customers at the heart of everything we do. We will listen and respond to our customers, and work hard every day to improve the shopping trip,” explained Higginson.
“Success measures will be simple – more customers buying more from us. More customers means more volume growth which, ultimately, will lead to better like-for-like, profitability and shareholder returns.”
Morrisons also confirmed the 2015/16 dividend will be not less than 5p per share.