Morrisons has announced a 2.8% rise in like-for-like sales in its preliminary annual results, while its new wholesale operation remains on target to exceed £1bn in sales.

Group like-for-like sales continued to rise in the 53 weeks ending 4 February (2016/17 like for likes were 1.9%), as revenue increased by 5.8% to £17.3bn.

Its new wholesale business is on track for £700m of annualised sales by the end of 2018, and more than £1bn “in due course”.

In January, Morrisons started a rolling programme to supply McColl’s nationwide with both Safeway products and national brands. The new Safeway range of around 400 fresh, frozen and ambient products is now available in stores.

In addition, the multiple is set to supply around 40 SandpiperCI stores in the Channel Islands. During 2018 and 2019, many of these will convert to Morrisons Daily c-stores.

A further 32 Rontec-owned and -operated Morrisons Daily stores have opened on its forecourts, taking the total so far to 40.

Morrisions also expects to open “many more” Morrisons Daily stores on its own forecourts over the coming months, with its 30 established stores showing a 40% sales uplift.

Chairman Andrew Higginson said: “Morrisons is now entering its third consecutive year of growth, which is a credit to the whole team.

“We will continue to prioritise consistent, meaningful and sustainable growth, which I am confident we are well placed to keep delivering.”