// Morrisons profits rise 3% to £408m
// Total sales dropped 1.1% to £17.5bn
// Morrisons will open 5 new stores during 2020/21
Morrisons has seen its full-year profits rise despite “unprecedented challenges” brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
For the 52 weeks ended February 2, pre-tax profit rose three per cent to £408 million, when total sales edged down 1.1 per cent to £17.5 billion.
Group like-for-likes were down 0.8 per cent during the period.
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Morrisons said it made “significant investments” in price, service, and its Market Street food offer last year.
It also said it would open five new stores during 2020/21.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, which escalated after retailer’s financial year, the grocer announced yesterday that it would expand its online delivery capability to pick from more than 100 stores.
It is also offering immediate payments to small suppliers to help mitigate their cashflows.
In its current trading update, Morrisons said like-for-like sales rose by five per cent during the first six weeks of 2020.
The retailer also called on shoppers to “just buy what we need” after the jump in sales in recent weeks due to nationwide stockpiling amid the coronavirus crisis.
“We are currently facing unprecedented challenges and uncertainty dealing with Covid-19,” Morrisons chair Andrew Higginson and chief executive David Potts said.
“Looking after our colleagues and customers is our priority, ensuring that we have a clean, safe place to shop and work.
“At Morrisons, we have a strong, experienced, and above all, determined team of the best food makers and shopkeepers in Britain.
“We promise to work as hard as we can for customers, suppliers, and all stakeholders to keep our shops operating as smoothly as possible.”
Moreover, following the government’s announcement yesterday that it would extend its one-year business rates holiday to all retailers, Morrisons said it was awaiting further details regarding the implementation of this policy and is assessing its potential impact.
The grocer paid business rates in the UK of £308 million for the 2019/20 financial year, of which £290 million related to stores.