Wm. Morrison Supermarkets plc (MRWSY) posted it first full-year profits in five years Thursday but cautioned on "uncertain" conditions for grocery store companies in 2017.
Morrisons, as it's know, said full year like-for-like sales rose 1.2% to £16.3 billion ($19.8 billion), the company sai,d while underlying earnings per share rose 39.8% to 10.86 pence. Pre-tax profits on a reported basis were measured at £325 million, Morrisons said, a 49.8% increase from 2015 and its first profit since 2011.
"Our full year of like-for-like sales and profit growth was powered by listening to customers, and shows what our hard-working team of food makers and shopkeepers can do," said CEO David Potts. "But, it's only one year. Our turnaround has just started, and we have more plans and important work ahead. If we keep improving the customer shopping trip, I am confident that Morrisons will continue to grow."
The group, which is the smallest of Britain's Big Four supermarkets, said the weaker pound has created "uncertainties" with respect to the costs of imported food this year but that it was "confident we can continue to turnaround and grow" the Bradford, England-based company.
Morrisons shares closed at 247 pence each Wednesday in London and have risen around 9.8% over the past three months, well ahead of the 3% decline for the FTSE 350 General Retailers index.