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Morrisons reports profit rise for first time in four years

Morrisons made pre-tax profit of £157 million. Credit: PA

Britain's number four supermarket reported a rise in first-half profit for the first time in four years, suggesting its recovery is gaining momentum.

The Bradford-based grocery chain made an underlying pre-tax profit before restructuring costs of £157 million, 11% up from last year and ahead of analysts' average forecast of £150 million.

The supermarket, which follows Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda in annual sales, reported a third straight quarter of underlying sales growth.

Sales at stores open over a year, excluding fuel, were up 2% over the second quarter, having increased 0.7% in the first quarter.

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Morrisons sells off its Local convenience shops

Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Troubled grocer Morrisons is selling its M Local convenience shops so it can concentrate on its supermarkets.

It said it will sell 140 M local stores for around £25 million in cash to retail entrepreneur Mike Greene.

Mr Greene said the chain will be rebranded My Local, and he plans to keep all of its 2,300 staff. He added the new management plans to create 200 further jobs by opening 10 more stores.

Morrisons reports £792m losses amid 'tough' environment

Morrisons sacked its chief executive in January following poor results. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Supermarket chain Morrisons has announced pre-tax losses of £792 million for the year to February 2015.

The result compares to a 2013/14 loss of £176 million, the company said in its preliminary results.

Underlying profit before tax was also down 52% on the previous year to £345 million.

Chairman Andrew Higginson said: “Last year’s trading environment was tough, and we don’t expect any change this year.

"However, Morrisons is a strong, distinctive business – we own most of our supermarkets, have strong cash flow, and are famous with customers for great quality fresh food at low prices. This gives us a good platform."

The company will have a new chief executive as of next week, with former Tesco executive David Potts taking over after previous incumbent Dalton Phillips was sacked.

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