Morrisons books 3rd straight year of profit & sales growth

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Morrisons profit
// Morrisons enjoys 8.6% Y-o-Y uptick in underlying full-year profits
// Groups like-for-likes also up 4.8 per cent, total revenue up 2.7%
// However, pre-tax profit was down 15.8% after exceptional costs

Morrisons has recorded another year of growth in sales and profit as chief executive David Potts boasted that the Big 4 grocer’s turnaround scheme was “well on track”.

According to Morrisons’ preliminary results for the 52-week period ending February 3, underlying pre-tax profits came in at £406 million – an 8.6 per cent year-on-year uplift.

Meanwhile, operating profit before exceptionals was £465 million, a 4.5 per cent year-on-year increase.

On a statutory basis though, operating profit was down 14 per cent to £394 million and pre-tax profits fell 15.8 per cent to £320 million after £86 million of exceptional costs.

Nonetheless, group like-for-like sales shot up by 4.8 per cent, an increase on the 2.8 per cent uptick in like-for-likes recorded the year before.

Meanwhile, total revenue for the year was up 2.7 per cent to £17.7 billion.

Morrisons saw like-for-like retail sales growth slow to 0.6 per cent in the final three months, down from 1.3 per cent in the third quarter.

However, like-for-like sales overall rose 3.8 per cent in the fourth quarter thanks to a 3.2 per cent contribution from the wholesale division, which includes tie-ups with McColl’s and Amazon.

Potts hailed the results as a third straight year of sales and profit growth for Morrisons.

“A third consecutive year of strong sales and profit growth, and a total annual dividend up over 150 per cent during those three years, show the Morrisons turnaround is well on track,” the chief executive said.

“This turnaround is based on improving the shopping trip for customers, making Morrisons more popular and accessible.

“And our customers are noticing. Most pleasing of all was another big increase in customer satisfaction, now up a full 20 percentage points in the last four years, which is all down to the friendliness and expertise of our team of unique food makers and shopkeepers.”

Morrisons chairman Andrew Higginson said: “In a challenging period for customers and an ever-changing British retail scene, the turnaround at Morrisons has continued to progress well.

“The team has now completed four years of important work, building Morrisons as a broader, stronger business.

“I am delighted that sales and profit again grew strongly, and that we are able to share that growth with our shareholders through increased dividends.”

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