Morrisons first half profit falls 10 pct
LONDON, Sept 12
LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Britain's No. 4 grocer Wm Morrison Supermarkets posted a 10 percent fall in first half profit, hurt by its late entry into online grocery and convenience store markets.
The company, which trails Tesco, Wal-Mart's Asda and J Sainsbury in annual sales, said on Thursday it made an underlying pretax profit of 401 million pounds ($634.1 million) in the six months to Aug. 4.
That compares with analysts' average forecast of 410 million pounds, according to a company poll, and 445 million pounds made in the same period last year.
Turnover was flat at 8.9 billion pounds, while sales at stores open over a year, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, fell 1.6 percent, having fallen 1.8 percent in the first quarter.
Morrisons said it expected an improvement in its sales performance in the second half, forecasting a full year outcome "broadly in line with previous expectations."
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