Morrisons has posted a 13.8% jump in full-year profit and that like-for-like sales in the five weeks to March 9 were ahead 7.6%.

Pre-tax profit to February 2 rose to £277m from £243m last year on turnover that increased 9.4% to £4.3bn from £3.9bn in 2002.

Morrisons said like-for-like sales for the year were up 5.3% and that weekly customer numbers had risen by 2.3% on the back of “low prices, special offers and multi-save promotions".

Chairman Ken Morrison said he was confident of his company’s bid for rival chain Safeway. "We are confident that a combination of Morrison and Safeway would be good for both customers and suppliers, leading to healthy competition between four major national superstore operators." Morrison said.

Morrisons with 119 stores based mainly in the north of England is the only one of four other bidders to have tabled an all-share bid of £2.3bn bid for Safeway.