Sir Ken Morrison is expected to retire as chairman of Morrisons later this week, as analysts predict strong results from the supermarket chain.

Sir Ken has worked at Morrisons since finishing national service in 1952. He was chairman and managing director from 1956 to 1997, after which he stepped down from the MD role.

Analysts are predicting the supermarket group will report a 70% increase in full-year pre-tax profit to around £550m when it unveils its full-year results on Thursday (13 March).

“Morrisons' finals mark the end of Sir Ken Morrison's involvement in the running of the group,” analysts from Dresdner Kleinwort said in a note. “We expect the retailer to do him proud with solid results.”

Analysts also believe the chain will unveil the first buy-back programme in its history, returning up to £1bn to shareholders.