Morrisons serves up special dividend

Morrisons serves up special dividend

Wm Morrison (MRW) has reported its most successful quarterly sales performance for nearly a decade. A second-quarter 6.3 per cent improvement in underlying revenue helped half-year like-for-like sales rise by 4.9 per cent overall (excluding fuel and VAT), while total revenues climbed by 4.5 per cent to £8.8bn. However, several accounting technicalities, including a £33m net adjustment to cover bond repayments and a £28m fallout from changing estimated stock provisions, left reported profits down nearly a third at £142m. Cash repayment costs amounting to £30m and lower disposal proceeds also had a knock-on effect on free cash flow, although net debt still came down by £44m to £929m, while the group has confirmed another 2p special dividend to follow the 4p one-off return announced in March.

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