As predicted, Morrisons has once again delivered an exceptional set of results not only lifting the gloom hanging over the retail sector in general, but also outperforming its ­grocery rivals.

Naturally, CEO Dalton Philips will take many of the plaudits for the ­energy and vision he has brought to the role since arriving from Canada last year. But there is a lot more to Morrisons’ success that has largely gone unnoticed.

Group finance director Richard Pennycook continues to play a crucial role driving the retailer’s massive Evolve programme, aimed at delivering £100m of annual savings via ­improvements to its IT and logistics infrastructure.

Pennycook has been tipped in the past as a future retail CEO. But now we must also add group commercial director Richard Hodgson to that list. Since joining last year, Hodgson has used all his experience from Asda and Waitrose to keep a lid on prices while also driving up the quality and breadth of Morrisons’ offer.

Today’s results are the envy of ­rivals and, crucially, so is Morrisons’ top team.