Morrisons beats analyst expectations with 17% profit rise

Morrisons to hand shareholders special dividend as turnaround continues

Morrisons has reported a jump in profits for its most recent financial year, helped by a strong performance across its stores but also a push into wholesale and a focus on online shopping.

With that said, pre-tax profits improved by 17% YoY as food price inflation returns to the United Kingdom after years in absentia, although management noted that FX headwinds remain for imported goods.

The group's revenue meanwhile came in 5.8 percent higher at £17.3 billion, generating underlying profit before tax of £374 million, marking an 11 percent rise on the prior-year period.

Morrisons is now entering its third consecutive year of growth, which is a credit to the whole team. "We will continue to prioritise consistent, meaningful and sustainable growth, which I am confident we are well placed to keep delivering".

The unexpected special dividend of 4 pence per share took its full year payout to 10.09 pence, up 86 percent.

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David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said that the fact that the grocer was "holding its own with like-for-like growth for nine consecutive quarters on the bounce" showed that its "fix, build and grow" turnaround programme was well...

Morrisons (MRW) shares opened near the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard this morning after announcing a 4p special dividend, however a largely muted response has since seen the share price turn negative.

He added: "All parts of our progress so far have one common link: our colleagues".

He has also overhauled Morrisons' online strategy through a renegotiated agreement with distributor Ocado (OCDO.L) and struck wholesale supply deals with Amazon (AMZN.O), Rontec petrol forecourts, the McColl's (MCLSM.L) convenience chain and Channel Islands retailer Sandpiper.

In February, Morrisons set out plans to cut about 1,500 store management roles, and create about 1,700 customer service jobs.



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