Morrisons has posted a full-year loss of £312.9m as the costs associated with integrating Safeway into the business hit the supermarket chain.

In full-year results to end January 29, Morrisons said that conversion and integration costs arising from the Safeway merger in 2004 totalled £374.4m.

However, profit before tax, Safeway conversion and integration costs fell from £332.2m the year before to £61.5m.

Total group sales for the year was £13.1bn, while like-for-like sales for the seven weeks to end March 19 rose 3.2% excluding fuel.

Morrisons also revealed its long-awaited optimisation plan, with plans to save £30m on distribution and £30m on central costs and six million staff hours in store through natural staff turnover.

Sir Ken Morrison, chairman of Morrisons, said: “The results we are presenting today are the outcome of an extremely challenging year for Morrisons.”

He added: “The optimisation plan lays out the steps we need to take over the next three years to enable the company to apply and adapt where necessary the original Morrisons model to the new, larger business.”

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