Morrisons has toasted its value proposition and fresh offer after posting its best-ever sales performance.

Turnover for the year to 31 January rose 6% to £15.4bn, the Bradford-based supermarket announced today, with pre-tax profits up from £655m last year to £858m.

The retailer reported that weekly customer numbers were up 7% and said it had completed its Optimisation Plan with all targets exceeded.

However, net debt rose from £642m last year to £924m following a £1bn splurge on capital investment.

“Morrisons had another good year,” said non-executive chairman Sir Ian Gibson.

“Once again our focus on fresh food and great value appealed to shoppers everywhere and we have successfully grown sales and profits to record levels.”

Despite opening 43 new stores and a new RDC in the southeast in the last 12 months, the retailer said it plans to continue to invest in new stores, manufacturing capabilities and systems in the coming year.

The results come with new chief executive Dalton Philips set to take up the reins on March 29, filling the gap left by Marc Bolland following his defection to Marks & Spencer.

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