Mar 13, 2019

UK grocer Morrisons to pay special dividend as recovery continues

Wm Morrison has declared another special dividend - its third in a year - as growth in its wholesale operation continued to offset a moderating performance in the supermarkets. The UK's fourth-largest grocer said it would pay out a special dividend of 4p a share, on top of payouts of 4p last March and 2p in September, after reporting underlying pre-tax profit of £406m for the year to January 2019. Last year the group reported £374m. Same-store sales in the group's 498 supermarkets were up 1.5 per cent, while growth in the wholesale business - which supplies convenience store chain McColl's, several petrol station operators and Amazon - was 3.3 per cent. David Potts, chief executive, said: "A third consecutive year of strong sales and profit growth, and a total annual dividend up over 150 per cent during those three years, show the Morrisons turnround is well on track." "We remain confident that Morrisons still has many sales and profit growth opportunities ahead, and expect that growth to be meaningful and sustainable."

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