LONDON, March 9 Morrisons, Britain's
fourth biggest supermarket, reported a rise in annual profit for
the first time in five years, cementing its revival under a new
The Bradford, northern England, based group, which trails
market leader Tesco, Sainsbury's and
Wal-Mart's Asda, said on Thursday it made an underlying
pretax profit of 337 million pounds ($410 million) for the year
to Jan. 29 2017.
That was up 11.6 percent from last year's 302 million pounds
and compared to analysts' average forecast of 335 million
Net debt was cut by 552 million pounds to 1.19 billion
"We are confident we can continue to turnaround and grow
Morrisons," it said.
The supermarket did, however, warn of "uncertainties ahead",
especially around the impact on imported food prices if sterling
stays at lower levels, as well as rising depreciation, pension
and staff costs.
($1 = 0.8224 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey. Editing by Jane Merriman)