New Stores Help Boost Morrisons

Supermarket chain Morrisons has reported bumper sales, citing new store launches for its success.

Like-for-like pre-tax profits for last year jumped to £858m, from £655m in 2008/09.

Annual sales were up 6%, excluding fuel and VAT. Turnover also grew by 6% giving a total value of £15.4bn.

Basic earnings per share was 22.8p, up more than five pence in 2008/09.

Total dividend for the year was up 41% to 8.2p.

Morrisons said weekly average customer numbers had increased by 7%.

The supermarket opened 43 new stores in the UK last year, creating 10,000 new jobs.

Sir Ian Gibson, Non-Executive Chairman, said Morrisons had another good year.

"The opening of 43 new stores in the year accelerated our journey from National to Nationwide," he said.

"We expect the economic environment to remain challenging, disposable incomes to be under pressure and value to remain a high priority for consumers."

Sir Ian added: "For the longer term, we will continue to utilise our balance sheet strength to invest for growth, with new space, new manufacturing capability and new systems priorities in the year ahead."

Dalton Philips will take up his role as Morrisons' new CEO on 29 March.


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