British retailer Morrisons has said it is confident about the future as it reported a 9% rise in full-year profit.
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 £406 million in the year to February 3.
That compared with analysts' average forecast of £407 million and £374 million made in 2017-18.
Total revenue rose 2.7% to £17.7 billion, with like-for-like sales up 4.8%.
'We remain confident that Morrisons still has many sales and profit growth opportunities ahead, and expect that growth to be meaningful and sustainable,' the firm said.
Morrisons said it would pay a final ordinary dividend of 4.75 pence per share and a special dividend of 4.0 pence, taking total payouts for the year to 12.6 pence, up 24.9%.
Commenting on its performance, David Potts, chief executive, said, "A third consecutive year of strong sales and profit growth, and a total annual dividend up over 150 percent during those three years, show the Morrisons turnaround is well on track.
"This turnaround is based on improving the shopping trip for customers, making Morrisons more popular and accessible. And our customers are noticing. Most pleasing of all was another big increase in customer satisfaction, now up a full 20 percentage points in the last four years, which is all down to the friendliness and expertise of our team of unique food makers and shopkeepers."