Morrisons turnover £16.3bn, but weak pound hurts

Bradford-based supermarket group Morrisons said turnover in the year to January 29 edged up 1.2% to £16.3 billion and underlying pretax profit rose to £337 million — but warned that continued low sterling would push up the cost of importing food.

Morrisons shares fell more than 6% to around 232p, giving it a stock market value of around £5.4 billion.

“We are confident we can continue to turnaround and grow Morrisons,” said the company in its outlook.

But it warned: “There are some uncertainties ahead, especially around the impact on imported food prices if sterling stays at lower levels.

“We also expect depreciation and pension costs to increase, and we will continue to invest in colleague pay rates.

“However, all of this is incorporated into our plan.”

Full year total dividend was up 8.6% to 5.43p.

Morrisons chairman Andrew Higginson said: “Food retail is a simple business, but it is not easy.

“Only consistent and outstanding execution differentiates …

“I am confident that strong execution will drive sustained dividend growth and improving returns for Morrisons shareholders.”

Morrisons chief executive David Potts said: “Our full year of like-for-like sales and profit growth was powered by listening to customers, and shows what our hard-working team of food makers and shopkeepers can do. 

“But, it’s only one year.

“Our turnaround has just started, and we have more plans and important work ahead.

“If we keep improving the customer shopping trip, I am confident that Morrisons will continue to grow.”