Morrisons to hand shareholders special dividend as turnaround continues

The supermarket is renowned for its “vertical integration” in that it produces and makes much of what is sells

The supermarket is renowned for its “vertical integration” in that it produces and makes much of what is sells David Parry PA

The group's revenue meanwhile came in 5.8 percent higher at £17.3 billion, generating underlying profit before tax of £374 million, marking an 11 percent rise on the prior-year period.

Morrisons said it was on track with its financial targets and would pay a special dividend of 4 pence, taking the full year payout to 10.09 pence, up 85.8 percent.

"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".

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"Morrisons is now entering its third consecutive year of growth, which is a credit to the whole team", said chairman Andrew Higginson.

"We had a strong year, becoming more competitive and increasingly differentiating Morrisons for all stakeholders", said chief executive David Potts.

Morrisons said sales of local suppliers' foods had risen 50% in the past two years after signing deals with more than 200 farmers and other local food producers and tailoring stores to regional tastes.

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Looking ahead, Morrisons says it is confident that the business will continue to grow, reducing net debt and increasing wholesale supply sales.

The retail group began a programme to supply McColl's convenience stores nationwide with both branded products and the renewed Safeway brand, as well as expanding its online services, and extending the geographical reach of the "Morrisons at Amazon" partnership.

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