Tuesday 16 October 2018

Morrisons third quarter sales rise

The group notched up like for like sales growth of 2.5% in the 13 weeks to October 29, its eighth consecutive period in positive territory.

Morrisons sign
Morrisons sign

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Morrisons has reported another quarter of rising sales as the supermarket said it was working hard to limit the impact of soaring Brexit related food costs for shoppers.

The group notched up like for like sales growth of 2.5% in the 13 weeks to October 29, its eighth consecutive period in positive territory.

Morrisons said that more customers walked through its doors to take advantage of its ‘Price Crunch’ and ‘Way Down’ campaigns as grocery chains battle rising import costs following the pound’s collapse after last year’s referendum.

“We again worked hard during the quarter to limit the impact of lower sterling on imported food prices,” Morrisons said.

Morrisons chief executive David Potts, who is overseeing a turnaround of the business, said: “We are pleased with a further step up in our competitiveness and another period of positive like for like sales growth.

“I am confident our plans to keep serving customers better will enable us to continue the strong momentum of the year so far, into the important fourth quarter.

“As we work towards becoming a broader, stronger business, a new Morrisons is taking shape, built by our colleagues on firm balance sheet foundations.”

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Morrisons stock

The chief executive said that the trend of customers switching to own brand products to save costs seen in the first half of the year has continued, which has benefited Morrisons.

Of its comparable sales growth in the quarter, 2.1% came from retail and 0.4% from wholesale.

On current trading, Morrisons said that Halloween helped drive a 25% increase in pumpkin sales.

Mr Potts has led a recovery of the grocery chain by investing in price cuts and calling time on under-performing stores in attempts to turn the page on the supermarket’s ill-fated era under ousted boss Dalton Philips.

In his latest attempt to reinvigorate the supermarket, Morrisons said in August that it will relaunch the Safeway brand after striking a deal with McColl’s to supply the convenience store chain with groceries.

The partnership will see the supermarket supply Safeway and branded products to 1,300 convenience shops and 350 newsagents starting from January next year.

The move will help Morrisons secure wholesale sales of £700 million including tobacco by the end of next year, with the amount rising to £1 billion.

Press Association

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