By Adriano Marchese
Wm. Morrison Supermarkets PLC (MRW.LN) said Thursday that pretax profit rose 49% in the first half of fiscal 2020 and announced an extension of its relationship with Amazon.
For the 26 weeks ended Aug. 4, the British grocer made a pretax profit of 202 million pounds ($249.3 million) compared with GBP136 million during the same period in fiscal 2019.
Revenue for the period rose 0.4% to GBP8.83 billion. On a like-for-like basis, group sales, excluding fuel and VAT, rose 0.2% in the period.
The board has declared an interim dividend of 1.93 pence a share, which compares with last year's 1.85 pence. Additionally, the company said it would issue a special dividend of 2.0 pence a share, taking the total half-year payout to 3.93 pence.
Wm. Morrison, the fourth largest grocer by market share, said it has extended the agreement to expand its Amazon Prime Now to more cities across the U.K.
The grocer said that in the second half, it is planning for retail like-for-like sales to improve, and for various cost savings opportunities.
The company said it remains on track for its medium-term target of GBP75 million to GBP125 million incremental profit from wholesale, services, interest and its online segment.
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