// Morrisons loses market share as rating agency Fitch Ratings raises concerns over £6bn debt pile
// Fitch warned rising costs could result in a £200 million hit to Morrisons’ profits for the next three years
Morrisons has lost market share after raising prices faster than rivals as rating agency Fitch Ratings prompts concerns over the grocer’s debts.
Fitch downgraded the rating on Morrisons’ £6 billion debt from a ‘speculative’ BB level, to a ‘highly speculative’ B, suggesting a ‘material’ risk of it defaulting.
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“Morrisons lost more market share than its major peers due to larger price increases,” Fitch said.
It is the latest blow for Morrisons since it fell into the hands of US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier and Rice last year amid strong competition from two US-based investment groups.
Morrisons agreed to buy McColl’s in a rescue deal in May after it went into administration following rising costs due to supply chain disruption, inflation and its large debt burden.
In October, credit rating agency Moody’s warned that Morrisons could face a £95 million hit in its borrowing costs.
Moody’s said the supermarket is set to face an additional £35 million in annual interest payments to £335 million on its £6.6 billion of borrowing.