Morrisons reports 19% pre-tax profit rise

Cheaper petrol and food promotions have driven a 19% increase in pre-tax profits at supermarket chain Morrisons during the first half of the year. The retailer says it has “confidence” that it will make its full year targets following its strong performance.

The retailer’s profits rose to £295m over the six months to August 3 compared to £241m for the same period last year. The rise comes despite the retailer saying that it is facing its “toughest trading environment” for many years.

It says: “More shoppers are choosing Morrisons because of our price-crunching deals in-store and at the petrol pumps.”

Morrisons has targeted car drivers this year as part of the ongoing petrol-pump price war, offering lower unleaded and diesel prices to customers than its competitors.

The group adds that food price inflation has had a significant effect on sales in 2008, pushing the price of rice up by 119%, crude oil by 66% and lamb by 32%.

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