Business

Profits rise by 40% at supermarket chain Morrisons

Morrisons has reported rising half-year profits as the supermarket hailed seven consecutive quarters of growing sales. Picture by Chris Radburn/PA Wire
By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Morrisons has reported rising half-year profits as the supermarket hailed seven consecutive quarters of growing sales.

Pre-tax profits increased 39.9 per cent to £200 million in the six months to July 30, while turnover rose 4.8 per cent to £8.42 billion.

Second-quarter like-for-like sales grew by 2.6 per cent, while comparable sales over the second half as a whole rose 3 per cent.

Morrisons chief executive David Potts, who is overseeing a turnaround of the business, said: "A new Morrisons is beginning to take shape.

"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."

Mr Potts has led a recovery of the grocery chain by investing in price cuts and calling time on under-performing stores in attempts to turn the page on the supermarket's ill-fated era under ousted boss Dalton Philips.

In his latest attempt to reinvigorate the supermarket, Morrisons said in August that it will relaunch the Safeway brand after striking a deal with McColl's to supply the convenience store chain with groceries.

The partnership will see the supermarket supply Safeway and branded products to 1,300 convenience shops and 350 newsagents starting from January next year.

The move will help Morrisons secure wholesale sales of £700 million including tobacco by the end of next year, with the amount rising to £1 billion.

Partly as a result of the deal, Morrisons has increased its profit guidance for the full year.

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