Morrisons eyes move into online grocery

Supermarket giant Morrisons has reported pre-tax profit of £412m for the first half – as it confirmed that it was considering a move into online retail.

The profit was eight per cent down on the same period last year, but in line with forecasts.

Underlying profit was up taking into account a one-off payment in the same period last time.

The company said it had served a record average of customers per week over the period while like-for-like sales – excluding VAT and fuel – were up 0.9 per cent.

Revenues were £8.1bn from £7.5bn, a rise of nine per cent.

Meanwhile it reported that the interim dividend was up 14 per cent to 1.23p.

The company said it was assessing a possible move into online groceries.

Morrsisons new chief executive Dalton Philips, Chief Executive, said of the results for the six months to August: "Over the last six months I have spent time getting to know this great business and its people. Three observations stand out:

"Morrisons is a world class retailer; it has real and positive differences in its fresh offer, food production and craft skills; and there are many opportunities ahead to drive our top line, increase efficiencies in the business and to capture growth."