Morrisons sees third year of ‘strong’ sales despite profits drop

Big Four supermarket Morrisons has posted an increase in sales for the third consecutive year in its preliminary results for the 52 weeks ending 3 February 2019.

The group’s like-for-like sales saw a 4.8% increase on last year’s sales, however its profits before tax took a 15.8% hit to £320m down from 2018’s £380m, attributed to annual costs of £86m.

Morrisons displayed confidence in its outlook however with a dividend reward of £289m compared with the previous year’s £129m. This equals a final dividend of 4.75p per share and a special dividend of 4p per share.

The supermarket’s revenues increased to £17.7bn up from £17.3bn and its underlying profits for the year rose 8.6% to £406m.

Andrew Higginson, chairman, said: “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.”

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

“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.”

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