While like-for-like sales saw a slight dip (0.8%) during the reported period, profit before tax and sales was up 3% to £408m.
The recent wave of stockpiling by consumers has directly benefited Morrisons, which has already reported a like-for-like sales boost of 5% for the first weeks of the 2020/2021 financial year. This was despite a significant deflationary impact of its continued investment in becoming more competitive.
Morrisons further cemented its commitment to support its workers, suppliers and consumers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak by guaranteeing pay for workers. It is also expanding online delivery capabilities – a measure that is expected to create 3,500 jobs.
This followed its announcement last week that it would move to immediate payment for its smaller foods for resale suppliers, aiming to release payment to banks within 48 hours. This was meant to support cashflow during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it said.
Morrisons also decided to delay the announcement of another special dividend to better position itself for any future developments surrounding COVID-19.
Commenting on the results, chief executive David Potts said: “We are currently facing unprecedented challenges and uncertainty dealing with COVID-19. Looking after our colleagues and customers is our priority, ensuring that we have a clean, safe place to shop and work.
“At Morrisons, we have a strong, experienced, and above all, determined team of the best food makers and shopkeepers in Britain. We promise to work as hard as we can for customers, suppliers, and all stakeholders to keep our shops operating as smoothly as possible. Thank you to all our colleagues for your incredible efforts so far.”
Meanwhile, the food manufacturing sector is gearing up to increase volume as it reported trading on certain products was above Christmas levels.