Morrisons reports rise in profits as turnaround continues

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Morrisons has reported an 11% increase in pre-tax profits to £374m for the year ended 4 February, as its turnaround continues.

The supermarket giant said like-for-like sales were up by 2.8% in the 12-month period, while revenues rose 5.8% to £17.3bn.

The retailer said performance was strong despite the “challenges” of higher import costs.

Morrisons reported that it has opened 30 Daily stores on its forecourts, and initial results are strong, with sales up 40%. The supermarket expects to open up “many more” in the coming months.

The retailer said it was on track to exceed £700m wholesale sales by the end of 2018, and expects it to be more than £1bn in due course.

Morrisons started a rolling programme to supply McColl’s nationwide with both branded products and the revived Safeway brand.

The supermarket signed a new wholesale supply agreement with SandpiperCI in the Channel Islands. During 2018 and 2019 many of these stores will convert to Morrisons Daily.

In addition, Amazon expanded the Prime Now service ‘Morrisons at Amazon’ into more London and Hertfordshire postcodes, and into parts of Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.

Morrisons said it also made further progress in the second half with its parcel pick-up services: Doddle is available in more than 160 stores, up from about 50 at the end of the first half, this follows the successful roll-out of Amazon lockers into over 400 Morrisons stores.

Danielle Pinnington, managing director at shopper research agency, Shoppercentric, said: “Morrisons have been working hard to understand what todays shoppers need from their stores, and putting those learnings into practice.

“Keeping ear to the ground is so important as shopping habits, household spending pressures and the competitive context change so quickly. Picking up those changes and reacting quickly is hugely important for today’s grocery retailers.”