Morrisons reported group like-for-like (LFL) sales ex-fuel/ex-VAT were up 3% (2016/17: 1.4%) in the first half of 2017.
- Q2 LFL ex-fuel/ex-VAT up 2.6%, two-year Q2 LFL growth of 4.7%
- Turnover up 4.8% to £8.42bn (2016/17: £8.03bn)
- Underlying profit before tax (UPBT(2)) up 12.7% to £177m (2016/17: £157m)
- Underlying earnings per share (EPS(2)) up 14.9% to 5.79p (2016/17: 5.04p)
- Reported profit before tax (PBT) up 39.9% to £200m (2016/17: £143m)
- Free cash flow of £352m (2016/17: £558m)
- Net debt reduced by a further £262m to £932m since the end of 2016/17, now below our £1bn year-end target
- Interim dividend up 5.1% to 1.66p (2016/17: 1.58p)
STRATEGIC AND OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS:
- Fix, Rebuild and Grow strategy building a broader, stronger Morrisons
- Strong sales, profit, and dividend growth, building on last year's growth
- Total free cash flow generation now £2.7bn since the start of 2014/15
- Further cost savings achieved, above the initial £1bn
- New store-pick online service, extending Morrisons.com into North East England
- New wholesale supply agreement with McColl's announced after period end
Safeway brand revived and available soon, initially at McColl's
Chairman Andrew Higginson said: "This is another good performance from Morrisons. Our seventh consecutive quarter of positive like for like means that we are able to report profit growth on growth for the first time in the turnaround.
"With good trading momentum and a strategy to build a broader, stronger Morrisons, the business is well set to continue to deliver consistent and sustainable growth for its stakeholders."