Morrisons hikes dividend as it reports increase in sales and profit

 
Caitlin Morrison
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General View Of Morrisons Supermarket
Morrisons said it expects full-year profit to be higher than previously expected (Source: Getty)

Morrisons has reported an increase in sales and profit in the six months to 30 July and hiked its dividend.

The figures

The supermarket said group like-for-like sales excluding fuel and VAT went up three per cent in the first half.

Turnover rose 4.8 per cent from £8.03bn to £8.24bn.

Underlying pre-tax profit grew 12.7 per cent to £177m from £157m, and underlying earnings per share went up 14.9 per cent to 5.79p from 5.04p.

The group hiked the interim dividend by 5.1 per cent to 1.66p, compared with 1.58p a year ago.

Shares in the group were down 2.9 per cent at the time of writing.

Why it's interesting

Morrisons chief executive David Potts has been leading a turnaround plan since he joined in 2015, and lately it looks like changes he's effected have been paying off.

The company, which recently unveiled a new supply deal with convenience store chain McColl's, said it is "confident (it) can continue to grow".

Indeed, Morrisons said that during the the first half, it achieved a further £14m incremental profit from wholesale, services, interest and online, bringing the total to £32m so far.

"We now expect £75m-£125m of incremental profit before tax from these four areas in the medium term, increased from £50m-£100m previously," the company said.

What Morrisons said

"A new Morrisons is beginning to take shape," said Potts.

"The capability of the team continues to improve and we are making strong headway with our plans to Fix, Rebuild and Grow. Our supermarkets continue their focus on improving the customer shopping trip and, in wholesale supply, we are beginning to realise some of the opportunities that our unique team of food makers and shopkeepers bring us."

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