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What are the latest company updates regarding the Morrisons share price?

The most recent news released concerning the Morrisons share price (LON: MRW) (MRW.L) was the company’s full year results for the year to 31 January 2021.

The retailer released those results on 11 March. They showed an increase in like-for-like sales (excluding fuel and VAT) of 8.6%, with growth of 9% in the final quarter of the year.

This pushed revenue 0.4% higher for the full year, although profit before tax was down just over 62%. The firm’s profitability was negatively impacted by £290 million in direct Covid-19 costs as it sought to maintain product and delivery availability during the pandemic. For example, it restructured and increased online capacity.

Morrisons announced a final ordinary dividend of 5.11p. This means that its ordinary dividend for the year increased by 5.6% to 7.15p. When the previously announced special dividend is included, the retailer’s total dividend increased by 27.1% to 11.15p.

The company announced in its results that it expects profit before tax and exceptionals for the 2022 financial year to be higher than the £431 million achieved in 2021. It also anticipates a significant fall in net debt in 2022, as well as strong free cash flow, according to the company’s results statement.

In making these forecasts, the retailer has assumed that there will be a gradual return to more normal trading conditions. It also anticipates no significant increases in expected direct Covid-19 costs, or further restrictions on trading.

Commenting on the results, Morrisons CEO David Potts said: “We must now look forward with hope towards better times for all, and we’re confident we can take our strong momentum into the new year, targeting profit growth and significantly lower net debt during 2021/22”.

Other news in recent weeks regarding the Morrisons share price has included a handful of director deals. They have all been related to the vesting of awards granted under the company’s Long Term Incentive Plan and Deferred Share Bonus Plan, and concerned senior management.

Since the start of the year, the company’s shares have fallen by 2%. Over a one-year and five-year time period, they have declined by 2% and 9% respectively. The FTSE 250 index, to which the retailer belongs, has risen by 46% and 32%, respectively, over the past one and five years.

The next investor update scheduled for release by the company is its first quarter trading statement. It is set to be released on 11 May. The Morrisons share price is trading at 178p at the time of writing.

Not Investment Advice Note: Views expressed are those of the writer. The author does not own any stocks mentioned. The article is information, not advice. Share prices can rise and fall. Past returns are not a guide to the future. Please do your own research.