StockMarketWire.com - Supermarket chain Morrisons posted an 8.6% rise in adjusted profit and declared another special dividend, as it grew like-for-like sales in its stores excluding fuel by 4.8%.

Underlying pre-tax profit for the year through December rose to £406m, while total revenue rose 2.7% to £17.7bn.

The company's bottom-line pre-tax profit fell 16% to £320m, owing to exceptional items including pension and debt repayment costs.

Like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter grew by 3.8%.

Morrisons declared a final divided of 4.75p per share, plus a special dividend of 4.00p per share.

That took total dividends for 2018 to 12.60p, up 25% on-year.

Morrisons reiterated that it had achieved £700m of annualised wholesale supply sales ahead of its end-2018 target.

It alsos aid it expected to begin to supply McColl's remaining around 300 convenience stores towards the end of 2019.

'A third consecutive year of strong sales and profit growth, and a total annual dividend up over 150% during those three years, show the Morrisons turnaround is well on track,' chief executive David Potts said.

'This turnaround is based on improving the shopping trip for customers, making Morrisons more popular and accessible.'



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