Morrisons turnaround gathers pace
The Morrisons supermarket chain has achieved an increase in both sales and profit in its first half as it continues to make progress with its turnaround.
In the six months to 30 July, underlying pre-tax profit rose by 12.7% to £177 million while reported pre-tax profit was up 39.9% to £200 million.
Turnover increased by 4.8% to £8.42 billion while like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose by 3% after being positive for seven consecutive quarters. Second quarter like-for like sales were up 2.6%.
The company said its Fix, Rebuild and Grow strategy is succeeding in building a “broader, stronger” Morrisons although the company is still in turnaround in many areas.
David Potts, Morrisons chief executive, 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."
Morrisons said capability improved in the first half and that significant cost savings were realised in the areas of automated ordering, in-store administration, distribution between manufacturing and retail, and procurement of goods not for resale.
During the period, the supermarket started a new store-pick online home delivery service in the North East of England as it looked to take Morrisons.com to customers who were previously outside the area served by its customer fulfilment centre in Dordon. It is now expecting to expand store-pick home delivery to further catchments.
It also signed a new wholesale supply agreement with the McColl's convenience chain.
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."
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