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Morrisons welcomes record numbers of customers as sales rise

Morrisons has reported an 8% rise in profits as record numbers of customers visited its stores.

CITY & CORPORATE

Morrisons welcomes record numbers of customers as sales rise

Morrisons has reported an 8% rise in profits as record numbers of customers visited its stores.

Profits increased to £442 million in the six months to 31 July compared to £410 million in the same period in the previous year. However, sales at stores open at least a year grew 2.2%, excluding fuel and value-added tax, which is slightly lower than the 2.5% rise seen in the first quarter. Turnover was up 7.4% to £8.7 billion.

Morrisons said a record 11.5 million customers visited its stores during the period which the company said was due to  longer opening hours, a focus on fresh produce and its popular price crunch campaign.

The company said that the trading environment in the first half had been “challenging” and that it expected the conditions to continue in this way “for some time to come.”

Ian Gibson, non-executive chairman, said: "Against the continuing backdrop of a challenging consumer and economic environment, Morrisons is reporting another good set of results. Our focus on outstanding fresh food, quality and value has enabled us to grow market share and deliver solid earnings growth."

The company recently opened its first convenience store  and new chief executive Dalton Philips has announced that the company will launch an online shopping site as part of his growth plans for the business. Morrisons also recently acquired online retailer Kiddicare for £70 million.

Philips commented: In addition to growing sales and delivering good profit growth, we also made great strides in developing the business for the future.  We have opened our first convenience store, invested further in our unique production capabilities, increased efficiency across the Group, gained valuable insights from our trial stores and taken our first steps towards becoming a multichannel retailer. I am confident we will make further good progress in the second half."

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