Morrisons is rolling out large regional ranges in its stores as part of a bid to grow from a "national to a nationwide company".

The ranges, currently being trialled, include local cheeses, cakes, relishes, fish and meat from small independent suppliers.

"The regional ranges are for when Morrisons expands into new areas of the country and they need to cater for all customers," CEO Mark Bolland told The Grocer, as the retailer announced strong annual results this week.

Morrisons had eyed up more than 100 potential areas after discovering a third of the population did not live near enough to a branch, he said, adding that the retailer was focusing on London and the South East in particular.

The retailer posted a 7% increase in pre-tax profits to £655m for the 52 weeks to 1 February, on sales up 12% to £14.5bn.