Morrisons special dividend as revenue hits £17.3bn

Bradford-based supermarket group Morrisons said its revenue rose 5.8% to £17.3 billion in the 53 weeks to February 4 and its reported profit before tax rose 16.9% to £380 million.

Morrisons said it would pay a special dividend of 4p, taking its full year total dividend up 85.8% to 10.09p.

Nonetheless, Morrisons’ shares fell almost 5% amid concerns that its profits owed more to lower financing costs than its business strength.

Some analysts also pointed to a decline in free cash flow, which fell to £350 million from £670 million in  2016-17.

“This will temper somewhat the excitement of the special dividend,” Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne told Reuters.

Morrisons shares fell to around 215p to give it a current stock market value of just more than £5 billion.

Morrisons CEO David Potts said: “We had a strong year, becoming more competitive and increasingly differentiating Morrisons for all stakeholders.

“We are pleased to be paying shareholders a special dividend of 4p a share, which reflects our good performance so far and confidence for the future.”