Morrisons - Old Warwick Road, Leamington Spa
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Morrisons makes 'strong headway' in 2017 as pre-tax profits hit £200m

Morrisons is “making strong headway” after reporting growth in turnover and profits in its interim result to July 30th.

For the half year mark, the Bradford-headquartered supermarket experienced a 4.8% year on year rise in turnover to £8.42bn. Turnover excluding fuel was £6.57bn, up 2.6%.

Underlying operating profit was up 3.4% to £214m (2016/17: £207m), with reported pre-tax profit growing to £200m (2016/17: £143m).

Underlying pre-tax profit also rose by 12.7% to £177m (2016/17: £157m), whereas underlying net finance costs were reduced to £38m (2016/17: £50m).

Morrisons, which is the UK’s fourth biggest supermarket chain, also reported positive like-for-like sales results for the seventh consecutive quarter.

Like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, were up 2.6% over the second quarter, having increased 3.4% in the first quarter.

Group net debt also fell to £932m, down £262m since the end of 2016/17, and now below Morrisons’ £1bn year-end target.

Andrew Higginson, Morrisons chairman, said: “This is another good performance from Morrisons. Our seventh consecutive quarter of positive like for like means that we are able to report profit growth on growth for the first time in the turnaround.

“With good trading momentum and a strategy to build a broader, stronger Morrisons, the business is well set to continue to deliver consistent and sustainable growth for its stakeholders.”

David Potts, Morrisons chief executive, commented: “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.”

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