Morrisons has reported record profits despite seeing a fall in fuel sales. The Yorkshire-based supermarket group reported profits before tax of £858 million for the year

ended January 31 2010, up from £655 million in the previous year. Sales increased 6% to £15.4 billion.


Regarding its forecourts, Morrisons reported fuel sales dropped 6% to £2.9 billion. It added: "The easing of the worldwide spike in oil prices in 2008 resulted in a welcome reduction in the fuel prices at the pumps, although prices again began to rise during the second half. Fuel sales were down by 6% in line with the average reduction in pump prices seen through the year."


The company added: "We have completed the conversion of our filling station pumps to highly efficient vapour recovery pumps which emit much reduced levels of fuel vapour into the atmosphere, a £16m investment in improved environmental performance."


Sir Ian Gibson, non-executive chairman, said: "Morrisons had another good year. Once again our focus on fresh food and great value appealed to shoppers everywhere, and we have successfully grown sales and profits to record levels. We completed delivery of the Optimisation Plan first launched four years ago, and we are well on the way to cementing our position as the Food Specialist for Everyone. The opening of 43 new storesin the year accelerated our journey from National to Nationwide.

"We expect the economic environment to remain challenging, disposable incomes to be under pressure and value to remain a high priority for consumers. The Board believes that Morrisons unique offer of high quality, fresh food at great value prices will continue to attract customers from our competitors and drive market share growth in the year ahead. For the longer term, we will continue to utilise our balance sheet strength to invest for growth, with new space, new manufacturing capability and new systems priorities in the year ahead.

"I am pleased that Dalton Philips will take up his role as our new CEO on March 29th and I welcome him to Morrisons.”