Mar 14, 2018

Morrisons pays special dividend as profits climb

Wm Morrison is serving up a special dividend to shareholders, in the latest sign of how its ex-Tesco management team has reinvigorated the business after a brake on expansion and a return to its value credentials helped lift profits. Reporting preliminary results for the year to February 4, Morrisons said same-store sales rose 2.8 per cent. Morrisons' pre-tax profits increased 17 per cent to £380m year on year, with revenue 5.8 per cent higher at £17.3bn. Clive Black, of Morrisons' house broker Shore Capital, said the special dividend reflected "Just how far" the supermarket chain had progressed under the leadership of Mr Higginson and chief executive David Potts. Mr Potts jettisoned initiatives launched by his predecessor Dalton Philips, such as misting machines in fruit and vegetable aisles, and vowed to return Morrisons to its roots as a low-priced supermarket. Having bolstered its reputation for lower prices, Morrisons is managing to hold market share in the face of strong competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl.

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