March 14, 2018 / 7:18 AM / in 3 months

Morrisons pays special dividend after profit rises 11 pct​

LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - Morrisons, Britain’s No. 4 grocer beat forecasts with an 11 percent rise in full-year profit, benefiting from an improved performance from stores as well as a push into wholesale and online markets, and said it would pay a special dividend.

The Bradford, northern England, based group, which trails market leader Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Walmart’s Asda in annual sales, said on Wednesday it made an underlying pretax profit of 374 million pounds ($522.6 million) in the year to February 4.

That was ahead of analysts’ average forecast of 371 million pounds and the 337 million pounds it made in 2016-17.

Morrisons said it was on track with its financial targets and would pay a special dividend of 4 pence, taking the full year payout to 10.09 pence, up 85.8 percent. ($1 = 0.7157 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young)

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