An evaluation of the business and financial performance of morrisons

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Part 1 Project Objectives and Overall Research Approach

1.1 Introduction

Markets across the world are gradually lifting themselves out of the doom and gloom of recession. Most markets in the UK have shown relative resiliency as they try and recover. Consumer spending and confidence have been fairly low due to adverse pressures created by the implementation of stringent fiscal and monetary policies by the government.

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The past couple of years have seen the worst effects of recession, hence businesses had to improvise and develop strategies which would focus on retaining existing customers while attracting new customers simultaneously. WM Morrison Supermarkets plc (herein after simply Morrison) has been a success story amidst all the large scale corporate failure and has managed to remain profitable while its competitor’s and businesses in general have struggled a great deal.

Morrison’s was founded by William Morrison in 1899, operating as an egg and butter stall in Bradford, North West England. From its humble beginning Morrison’s grew rapidly both in terms of its size and its product portfolio. It was only in 1967 that Morrison’s was first floated on the London Stock Exchange. As per (Nov 08) Morrison’s accounted for 11.8% of the total retail supermarket share in the year 2008, making it the smallest of the big “four” supermarkets. Morrison’s operated predominantly in Northern England and it was only in 2004 that Morrison’s expanded its operations in the southern part of the UK through the acquisition of Safeway superstores.

Further, as per the Annual Statements published in 2010, Morrison’s turnover stood at £15.4bn which was generated from 420 superstores all across the UK. Morrison’s operates entirely in the UK market.

1.2 Reasons for choosing the topic

Morrison’s mission statement which states “Keeping things simple” has often fascinated me as to how could such a massive organisation operate effectively by keeping things simple at all times. Therefore I choose to analyse the financial statements of Morrison’s PLC over a three year period which would provide me answers to my personal curiosities whilst also completing an important research report in my academic career. Most of the knowledge required to compile the research report was acquired through my ACCA studies but this report took me one step further as it provided me with a platform from where I could apply my knowledge in a real life scenario.

1.3 Project Objectives

This project report aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Analysis of the business and financial performance of Morrison PLC over a period of three years i.e. from the 1st of February 2007 to 31st of January 2010.
  • A reflective analysis of the year on year performance of Morrison PLC with critical analysis of the effectiveness of current business strategies and their adequacy to deal with future business and market challenges.

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