Wm. Morrison profit jumps 49%, expands Amazon partnership

Published: Sept 12, 2019 3:09 a.m. ET

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Shoppers buy groceries and goods inside Rochdale's Morrisons supermarket on January 23, 2017 in Rochdale, England.

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AdrianoMarchese

Wm. Morrison Supermarkets PLC (MRW.LN) said Thursday that pretax profit rose 49% in the first half of fiscal 2020 and announced an extension of its relationship with Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) .

For the 26 weeks ended Aug. 4, the British grocer MRW, +2.69%  made a pretax profit of 202 million pounds ($249.3 million) compared with GBP136 million during the same period in fiscal 2019.

Revenue for the period rose 0.4% to GBP8.83 billion. On a like-for-like basis, group sales, excluding fuel and VAT, rose 0.2% in the period.

The board has declared an interim dividend of 1.93 pence a share, which compares with last year’s 1.85 pence. Additionally, the company said it would issue a special dividend of 2.0 pence a share, taking the total half-year payout to 3.93 pence.

Wm. Morrison, the fourth largest grocer by market share, said it has extended the agreement to expand its Amazon AMZN, -1.50%  Prime Now to more cities across the U.K.

The grocer said that in the second half, it is planning for retail like-for-like sales to improve, and for various cost savings opportunities.

The company said it remains on track for its medium-term target of GBP75 million to GBP125 million incremental profit from wholesale, services, interest and its online segment.

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