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Business Analysis of Morrisons

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 4651 words Published: 10th Jan 2018

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Executive Summary

In this competitive era every organization is facing financial ups and downs from last few years due to recession. UK has a wide variety of retailers all with big infrastructure and chains that include food, clothing and lots of other products. This assignment focuses on the financial growth of Morrison PLC and two other competitors of Morrison i.e. Sainsbury and Tesco. The report will shed light on the key indicators affecting the performance of Morrison and its two competitors Sainsbury and Tesco.

Both Sainsbury and Tesco have a brand name in the retailing sector and give good competition to Morrison.

To find out accurate result we collect both quantitative and qualitative data. Recession effects the whole world same as UK. Every company applies lots of strategies to overcome this. Some will successful and some unable of overcome the impact of recession. Morrison is one of the companies from retailing sector, which is successfully recovering from the recession, and giving tough competition to its competitors.

In this assignment we will also discuss about the strategies adopted by the Morrison to overcome from recession and how it maintain it self in competitive market. And also try to find out what other methods Morrison used to increase its growth as compare to its competitors Sainsbury and Tesco


Retailing industry is one of the biggest growing industries in UK. It stands on number 3rd in the world economy. Initially retailing industry used to restrain only small scale shops. But now retailers are more focused on customer services and expand their business at very large scale. In UK there are several supermarkets that have their long chains like Morrison, Sainsbury, Tesco and ASDA. From last five years UK retailing industry provide more than 190,000 employments and this figure is growing continuously (British Retail Consortium 2004b). It is estimated as 11% of the total UK’S workforce.UK retailing industry provides part time jobs more then other sectors. UK retailing sector generates revenue of around 265bn per year which is the 8% of total GDP of UK economy.70% of UK supermarket is dominated by Morrison, Sainsbury, Tesco, and Asda.

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Morrison was founded by William Morrison in1899.In 1961 he opened his first store in Bradford. Very soon Morrison took over the Safeway and in early 2005 Morrison became the 4th largest Supermarket of UK retail industry. It has 403 stores all over the UK. Main business of Morrison is food and grocery. In 2005 Morrison generated 150,000 employments all over the UK. More then 9 million customers visit Morrison everyday. Morrison had its own warehouses and industries to maintain the demand and supply and has sufficient staff to provide better customer service. Morrison has more than 100yr experience in retailing sector. In 2008 Morrison awarded for the outstanding contribution in the retailing sector. In 2007 Sir Lan Gibson (64) joined Morrison as a non executive deputy chairmen. In 2010, 29 march Mr. Dalton Philips (43) Joined the group as Chief Executive. Mr. Mark Gunter (52) Joined Morrison as a Group retail director in the year 1993 and In 2005 Richard Pennycook was appointed as a Group finance Director. Morrison has strong and experienced management hierarchy, which provides sustainability in the market and helped Morrison to recover from the Recession. In 210/11 Morrison sales increased 7% from the previous year. Overall growth of Morrison for this year is 12.8%. With this growth Morrison is giving tough competition to the competitors like Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury. Contribution of these three supermarkets is only 3.5%, whereas only Morrison contributes with the growth of 4.5% in 2010/11 to the market. This is one of the most beneficial years for the Morrison. USP of Morrison or reason of the growth is Morrison is use of unique manufacturing and packaging techniques and most of the food is prepared everyday to provide fresh food to the customers. Morrison continuously updated itself with use of new technologies and new innovative tools in supermarket. Now days Morrison is working on incorporating digital technology in its operations. Morrison provides all technological facilities to the customers like online shopping, self checkouts, card payments etc.

Subsidiaries of Morrison plc-

Farmers boy limited

Neerock limited

Safeway limited

Rathbone kear limited

Optimization developments limited

Bos brothers fruit and vegetables

Farock insurance company limited

Optimization developments limited

These are the few subsidiaries of Morrison from where Morrison purchase their food for the customers.


Sainsbury was established in the year 1869. Today Sainsbury has 890 stores out of which 547 are supermarkets and 343 are convince stores. It has joint venture with land securities group PLC and The British Land Company PLC. It also has Sainsbury’s bank in collaboration with Lloyds bank. Sainsbury serves fresh, healthy and tasty food. It entertains around 19 million consumers a week and has over 16 % share in market. It has a workforce of 15000 people.

Tesco :-

Tesco is one of the biggest retailers in UK. Tesco has expanded its business almost all over the world like USA, Europe, Asia etc. In UK, Tesco started in 1924. It has 2482 stores and 287669 numbers of employees. Tesco was formed by Sir Jack Cohen. It was the first self service store. Tesco introduced the concept of superstores in 1967.Tesco focused on the strategy of serving good products at low cost. In 2002-03 Tesco introduced more then five thousand food products to grab the attention of customers. Tesco use many technical innovative tools to provide better service to customers like online shopping, self checkouts etc. Tesco deals in food, clothing and all other daily use products. Tesco is one the biggest competitor for Morrison.

Quantitative Data – data which we can quantify and verify and that can be manipulated statistically is called quantitative data. The data which is in the form of numbers and figures is quantitative data.

Quantitative data analysis plays an important role in analyzing the business performance of a company. Both quantitative and qualitative data are necessary to analyze the business performance of a company in a better way.

Financial ratio analysis is a type of quantitative analysis to analyze the performance of a business.

Financial analysis- we can define financial analysis as the analysis of the financial condition of the company. It involves investigating if the capital is efficiently invested, efficiency of oprations, profitability of the company and the security of the debtors money . there are two types of financial analysis techniques- fund flow analysis and financial ratio analysis.

Company requires these techniques to analyse if it is efficiently investing and using its financial resources.

Tools and techniques of financial statement analysis-

Horizontal and vertical analysis

Ratio analysis

Horizontal analysis- analyzing and comparing the financial data of a company of 2 or more years is called horizontal analysis

Vertical analysis- this analysis is conducted on profit and loss account or on balance sheet and the result calculated is in percentage of a total amount.

Ratio analysis- it is the most excepted and widely used technique. The result is calculated as one number articulated in terms of other.

In this assignment we will be using this technique to quantitatively analyze the performance of Morrison with respect to its competitors Sainsbury and Tesco.

Some of the ratios analyzed for Morrison, Sainsbury and Tesco are stated below-

PROFITABILITY RATIOS- it can be defined as evaluation of the total performance and the effectiveness of the company.

Some of the profitability ratios are discussed below-

ROCE- This ratio stands for return on capital employed. We know that the main aim of the company for investing its financial resources is the profit it is reaping out of it. Therefore we can say that it is the success of a business in meeting its goals.

Formula for return on capital employed-

[Profit before interest and tax/capital employed] x100

Significance- It is one of the widely excepted methods to analyze the profitability and the overall performance of the company. It gives us information if the investment of the capital is optimal or not and funds are efficiently allocated and utilized by the company or not.


ROCE calculation of Morrison for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (612/4378) x100=13.97

In 2009- (655/4520) x100=14.49

In 2010- (858/4949) x100=17.33

ROCE calculation of Sainsbury for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (479/4935) x100=9.7

In 2009- (466/4376) x100=10.64

In 2010- (733/4966) x100=14.76

ROCE calculation of Tesco for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (1402/12099) x100=11.58

In 2009- (1419/12942) x100=10.96

In 2010- (1596/14681) x100=10.87

Net Profit Margin- it is the ratio of total net profit a company gains after eliminating all the taxes divided by the net sales. It is articulated in percentage.

Formula: – Net Profit Margin= [profit before interest and tax/sales or turnover] x100

Significance- to examine the overall profit of the company this ratio is used and is significantly used by proprietors. The return on investment depends upon the net profit.


Net Profit Margin calculation of Morrison for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (612/12151) x100=5.03

In 2009- (655/13615) x100=4.81

In 2010- (858/14348) x100=5.97

Net Profit Margin calculation of Sainsbury for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (479/16835) x100=2.84

In 2009- (466/17875) x100=2.60

In 2010- (733/18882) x100=3.88

Net Profit Margin calculation of Tesco for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (1402/23684) x100=5.91

In 2009- (1419/25734) x100=5.51

In 2010- (1596/27485) x100=5.80

Net Asset Turnover- it can be defined as the measure of capability of the firm to generate turnover by an efficient utilization of its assets.

Formula- sales or turnover/capital employed

Significance- higher is the ratio more efficiently and optimally the company has utilized its assets and lower ratio means the assets are underutilized. Higher is the ratio signifies the requirement of very low investment in the business and if the ratio is low it signifies incompetent management.


Net Asset Turnover calculation of Morrison for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- 12151/4378=2.77

In 2009- 13615/4520=3.01

In 2010- 14348/4949=2.89

Net Asset Turnover calculation of Sainsbury for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- 16835/4935=3.41

In 2009- 17875/4379=4.08

In 2010- 18882/4966=3.80

Net Asset Turnover calculation of Tesco for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- 23684/12099=1.95

In 2009- 25734/12942=1.98

In 2010- 27485/14681=1.87

Gross Profit Margin- it can be defined as the total amount of profit a firm can generate by selling its goods.

Formula- [gross profit/sales or turnover] x100

Significance- it is an indication of how much the selling price of per unit of goods can be lowered without any loss in operations of the company. Higher is this ratio more efficient is the production of goods in the company and vice versa.


Gross Profit Margin calculation of Morrison for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (818/12151) x100=6.73

In 2009- (913/13615) x100=6.70

In 2010- (1062/14348) x100=7.40

Gross Profit Margin calculation of Sainsbury for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (1002/16835) x100=5.95

In 2009- (1036/17875) x100=5.79

In 2010- (1082/18882) x100=5.73

Gross Profit Margin calculation of Tesco for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (1761/23684) x100=7.43

In 2009- (2048/25734) x100=7.95

In 2010- (2270/27485) x100=8.25

ACTIVITY RATIOS- It is the measure of how efficiently and optimally the resources of a company are engaged. It is also known as turnover ratio because it is the measure of how quickly the assets are converted into sales.

Stock days or Stock turnover- it is the relationship of cost of sold items during an interval of time and cost of average inventory during a particular interval of time. It tells about the times the company is able to convert the inventory into sales and the efficiency of company to manage its inventory.

Formula- [stock or inventory/cost of sales] x365

Significance- it is the measure of how quick a company can convert its inventory into sales. Higher is this ratio indicates more efficient the company is an managing its inventory. It means the company is able to sell more and therefore will have adequate capital to get new inventory and vice versa.


Stock turnover calculation of Morrison for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (442/12151) x365=13 days

In 2009- (494/13615) x365=13 days

In 2010- (577/14348) x365=14 days

Stock turnover calculation of Sainsbury for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (681/16835) x365=15 days

In 2009- (689/17875) x365=14 days

In 2010- (702/18882) x365=13 days

Stock turnover calculation of Tesco for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (2603/23684) x365=40 days

In 2009- (2669/25734) x365=37 days

In 2010- (2729/27485) x365=36 days

LIQUIDITY RATIOS- It is a financial technique to measure the short term solvency of the company financial condition. It is the measure of the capacity of a company to fulfill its short term obligations.

Current ratio- it the relationship of company’s current assets to its current liabilities. It is the measure of the potential of a company to accomplish its short term obligations.

Formula- current assets/current liabilities

Significance- it in the measure of how liquid are the assets of a company. It tells us how much safe a company is for its creditors. It is the measure of how stable company is financially. Higher ratio shows that company is more efficient to fulfill their short term obligations and vice versa.


Current ratio calculation of Morrison for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- 910/1853=0.49

In 2009- 1066/2024=0.52

In 2010- 1092/2152=0.50

Current ratio calculation of Sainsbury for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- 1722/2652=0.64

In 2009- 1591/2919=0.54

In 2010- 1853/2793=0.66

Current ratio calculation of Tesco for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- 6648/12689=0.52

In 2009- 13669/18115=0.75

In 2010- 11392/16015=0.71

Quick ratio- it is also called as liquid ratio or acid test ratio. It the relationship of liquid assets of company to its current liabilities.

Formula- current assets less stocks/current liabilities

Significance- It is the measure of how capable a company is in meeting in obligations and promises. Higher is this ratio indicates that company is more capable to meet its objectives and obligations.


Quick ratio calculation of Morrison for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (910-442)/1853=0.25

In 2009- (1066-494)/2024=0.28

In 2010- (1092-577)/2152=0.23

Quick ratio calculation of Sainsbury for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (1722-681)/2652=0.39

In 2009- (1591-689)/2919=0.30

In 2010- (1853-702)/2793=0.41

Quick ratio calculation of Tesco for the financial year 2008-2010-

In 2008- (6648-2603)/12689=0.31

In 2009- (13669-2669)/18115=0.60

In 2010- (11392-2729)/16015=0.54










Net Profit Margin




Net Asset Turnover




Gross Profit Margin




Stock Turnover

14 days

13 days

36 days

Current ratio




Quick ratio




Ratio analysis carried on Morrison, Sainsbury and Tesco for the financial year 2010

The above data shows some of the ratios analyzed for M orison, Sainsbury and Tesco for the financial year 2010.from the above data we can see that the ROCE ratio for the Morrison is high as compare to its competitors. Higher is this ratio high is the profitability and overall performance of the company. Thus Morrison tops the chart followed by Sainsbury and then Tesco at the last. If we have a look at the Net Profit Margin we can see that Morrison has the highest followed by Tesco and then Sainsbury. Since higher is the net profit margining more profitable is the business. Thus Morrison has made more profits as compared to Sainsbury and Tesco in concern of the revenue they have generated. If we compare the net asset turnover ratio Sainsbury tops the chart followed by Morrison and Tesco in the last. This data tells us that Sainsbury has made lowest investment followed by Morrison and Tesco lag behind in the race indicating inefficient use and management of resources. Looking at the gross profit margin Tesco has the highest followed by Morrison and Sainsbury. We know that if higher is this ratio more efficient is the production of goods in the company. Thus Tesco wins in this aspect and is most efficient amongst the three in the production of goods. Analyzing the stock turnover ratio Sainsbury has the least followed by Morrison and Tesco has the highest. Lower is this more quick is company in converting its stock into sales and more is the profit. Current ratio of Morrison is the least followed by Sainsbury and Tesco. Since higher is this ratio more is the ability of firm to pay its shorter debts. Thus Tesco wins in this race. Comparing the quick ratio, again Tesco has the highest, then Sainsbury and then Morrison. More is this ratio indicates more financially strong is the company. Thus Tesco again tops the chart.

From the above discussion we can see that in some areas Morrison is doing good like profitability and in some areas it as lagging like financial strength as compare to its competitors Sainsbury and Tesco. Therefore Morrison should keep on working hard to compete with its competitors.

Similarly we can compare the financial data of Morrison, Sainsbury and Tesco for the other financial years 2008 and 2009.

QUALITATIVE DATA- It can be defined as ways of collecting information to illustrate the meaning of a situation or a problem instead of focusing on statistical approach of analysis. They help to explain a situation in more depth and with more description.

There are lot of qualitative methods in the management study to analyze the business of the company and its competitors. We will be using Porter and PESTEL analysis to qualitatively analyze the business and the market environment for Morrison, Sainsbury and Tesco in UK.

Porter’s five forces

Overall Level of Rivalry – In retailing industry, UK is dominated by the Morrison, Tesco and Sainsbury. All three are big brand names in supermarket of UK. All three gives good competition to each other. All have equal number of resources to attract the customers.

Power of Buyer – Customer is the king of today’s era. So the power of buyers is relatively high, customer have lots of options so he can easily switch between suppliers. It affects the overall profit of the organization. But due to less number of competitors Morrison have chance to attract more and more customers by providing more offers to its customers and using new strategies.

Power of Supplier – All big brands have their own manufacturing units , which decrease the power of suppliers .Moreover , purchasing from outside make the cost of a product high and reduce the profit , so organizations prefers to avoid purchasing goods from outsiders. In retailing sector suppliers are dominated by the consumers.

Threat of New Entry -The threat of new entry in supermarket is very low, because it requires huge investment and big infrastructure. Apart from this new organization has to provide food and other material at very low cost to sustain in the market and compete with the existing retailers, which is quite hard. Secondly, consumer acceptance is one the major issue for new entries in this sector which makes supermarkets less attractive as compare to other sectors.

Threat of Alternatives – Because all three supermarkets deal in food and grocery, a long range of products is always available to the customers. So, the customer always has the chance to switch between products.

It depends on the way of customer service and the cost and quality of the product, which can bind up the customer with the product and the same organization.

To Sustain in market and maintain the growth rate, Morrison have to provide the good customer service and better product at low coast as compare to competitors.

PESTEL Analysis

Through PESTEL Analysis we can identify the external environmental factors which impact on the performance of Morrison and its competitors Tesco and Sainsbury.


Government of UK has imposed strict rules and regulation for the company to protect the environment e.g. laws related to waste disposal by companies. Food and other retailers will have to follow these rules planned by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and it will affect the cost of businesses. The bovine tuberculosis and chronic diseases through waste will compel the government to make more strict and stiff rules against these companies for the protection of company. European food authority has imposed regulations on food retailers to indicate the nutritional information and standard of quality of their products. The competition commission of uk and office of fair trading keep an eye on the main five supermarket retailing companies due to their high market share in the supermarket industry.

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Rise or failure in economy has a direct impact on the business because it affects the purchasing power of consumer. After 2008, UK officially declared the recession in economy. Though, government helps a lot to reduce the impact of recession on business and normal people by cutting interest rates. (Euromonitor, 2010), and it in turn helps to increase the purchasing power of customers and increase the business in UK. Whereas people are still not able to become heavy spender like before. Now a days people think twice before spending money and avoid to buy the product which are less in use which affect the overall profit of business.(Keynote,2010). After, 2010 economy of UK has started growing up slowly and purchasing power of customer is increasing day by day.


In UK population , there are less young people and children as compare to retired people.(Herald Scotland,2010) which affects the retailing business of food and grocery because it is understood that the eating and purchasing habits of older people is totally different and slow as compare to youngsters . They prefer light food mainly cooked at home and they like home deliveries to avoid the shopping, which cost extra to the stores. Apart from this older people don’t believe in online shopping because they find it inconvenient and difficult to use (Turban et al., 2001), overall it affects the business growth.


In this technological era every sector try to use new innovative tools to increase the performance and provide better customer service. Same is the case with supermarkets. Now a days every super market use technological tools like online shopping, self checkouts, card payments which is a revolution in the supermarkets. With the help of these technical tools retailers can increase the productivity and efficiency of the employees and business and reduce the billing time of customers which automatically provide customer satisfaction and help to increase the overall profit. According to national statistics, 2010, people using internet have grown by 50% from last few years. In UK more than 70% people know the use of internet and prefer to use online shopping which saves time and money of customer.


In UK, People believe in recycling, reduced packaging and avoid plastic bags. This kind of initiatives towards the improvement of environment is also promoted by UK government and Morrison actively takes part in CSR. From last few years more then 70% people have stopped using plastic bags and prefer to use reusable bags for shopping which cut down the packing cost of a product and increase the profit of an organization.(Office for National Statistics,2010)


By HM Treasury, 2010, UK govt. has increased the VAT charges by 20% on the products, which affects the overall profit of organizations. Apart from this National minimum wage in UK is very high as compare to other countries which is one the reason of reduction in profit on the products for the supermarkets. It is assumed that standard UK minimum wages could increase by 15% which can affect badly on the supermarkets of UK.


1. Morrison should move its focus towards different product categories instead of just focusing on being a specialist in food products in order to compete with other competitors like Sainsbury and Tesco.

2. Morrison should pay attention towards analyzing its financial and other resources and should try to strategically allocate these resources in an optimal fashion to achieve improvement in performance and efficiency of the overall business.

3. This is a world of technology and development. Thus Morrison should try to incorporate new and better technology like self checkouts and other form of technology like digital technology which should have features like online shopping in order to provide better customer service to its customers and compete with other competitors in the market.

4. Morrison should focus on better customer service and should focus on the concepts of CSR to fulfill its role and duties towards the society and the environment.


1. The financial analysis of Morrison shows that it is able to use its financial resources optimally and is able to fulfill its duties towards the creditors. But it really needs to work hard to improve on where it is lagging and it has a long way to go.

2. Morrison financial statement shows that the flow of fund and cash is strong and it is efficiently managing its financial resources but needs to improve more.

3. Morrison is working on the concept of CSR and understands its duties towards society and environment. This will help Morrison to build a good image and relationship with people in society. It was recorded that it did charity of around 1.18 million pounds.

4. Morrison should focus on adding new food products which are healthy to attract more customers.


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