Morrisons beats analyst expectations with 17% profit rise

Lloyd Doyle
March 14, 2018

Morrisons shareholders will get their hands on a bumper payout this year after its booming wholesale business and strong in-store sales boosted full-year profits.

The retailer, which is the UK's fourth biggest supermarket, on Wednesday said that pre-tax profits had risen by 16.9 per cent in the year to 4 February to £380m.

The Bradford-based group saw its revenue rise 5.8% to £17.3bn, with group like-for-like sales excluding fuel and Value-Added Tax up 2.8%, up from 1.9% a year earlier, benefiting from an improved performance from stores as well as a push into wholesale and online markets. "We will continue to prioritise consistent, meaningful and sustainable growth, which I am confident we are well placed to keep delivering". It will issue a final ordinary dividend of 4.43p, taking the full year ordinary dividend up 6.09p, up from 4.43p.

Since the end of the year, the group has also announced a new wholesale supply agreement with SandpiperCl, bringing Morrisons to the Channel Islands, and acquired Yorkshire egg business Chippindale Food. "The special dividend reflects our good progress so far and our expectations for continued growth".

During the year, Morrisons began a programme to supply McColl's stores with branded products and its own revived Safeway brand.

Clive Black, of Morrisons' house broker Shore Capital, said the special dividend reflected "just how far" the business had come under the leadership of its chairman Andy Higginson, chief executive David Potts, and chief financial officer Trevor Strain. "Listening to customers, responding, and improving the shopping trip are as important now as when we started this turnaround three years ago".

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