Morrisons sees operating margins down

Less than two-months after sacking its FD Martin Ackroyd and revealing problems with the accounting system of acquisition Safeway, Morrisons has warned that operating margins for 2005 are expected to be down.

Link: Press blamed for Morrisons’ FD departure

In a trading statement the retailer said it was still ‘heavily impacted’ by the dual distribution, IT and administration costs required for the Safeway conversion process.

Morrisons said this, coupled with the refurbishment of Safeway stores, would cause operating margins to run ‘significantly short’ of 2004 levels.

‘The Board now considers that these duplicate costs will remain higher and take longer to eliminate than the market is currently anticipating,’ the company said.

Morrisons will update the market on its recruitment of a new FD on 26 May at the company’s AGM.

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