Morrisons' share price remained virtually unchanged despite the supermarket group posting a substantial increase in turnover and profits, although it edged up 5p after the Competition Commission ruling on Wednesday.
Executive chairman Sir Ken Morrison unveiled a pre-tax profit increase of 13.8% to £277m on sales up 9.4% to £4.3bn for the year ending February 2. Like-for-like sales rose by 5.3% for the year, and by 7.6% for the five weeks to March 9, including petrol.
Sir Ken said sales were boosted by a 2.3% rise in weekly customers per store with transaction values rising 3.6%.
After the results, with Morrisons' share price at 167p, its bid for Safeway was valued at £2.34bn, or 221.4p a share.
Shares in Safeway rose higher still at 291p, but fell back after the Competition Commision ruling to 255p.
Morrisons joint MD Bob Stott said the poor performance of the shares was frustrating. "The total stockmarket is in a mess, but I am disappointed considering we have put in such a great performance," said Stott.
When its offer for Safeway was announced in January, Morrisons' shares were at 210p.
Six new stores open this year and 10 in 2004, taking the total to 135. These will include the first stores in Scotland at Falkirk, Glasgow and Kilmarnock. Expansion southwards is also on the cards.
>>pp4, 33 News and Analysis

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