Morrisons Sees Best Christmas Performance For Seven Years

Morrisons has reported its strongest Christmas sales for seven years as the supermarket chain’s recovery continues.  Like-for-like sales for the nine weeks to 1 January rose 2.9%, with fresh food, beers, wines and spirits, and its Nutmeg clothing all performing well. Morrisons added it now expected annual underlying profits of £330m-£340m, beating analysts’ consensus of £326m. Early reports suggest 2016 was good for food sellers. Most leading supermarkets will give updates this week.

On Monday, discount food retailer Aldi reported record sales, and Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are also due to give updates this week on their Christmas trading.  Earlier on Tuesday, a survey by the British Retail Consortium said food sales had spearheaded a “bumper Christmas” for retailers.

Majestic Wine was another retailer that had a good Christmas. It reported its best-ever Christmas trading figures, with like-for-like sales up 7.5% in the 10 weeks to 2 January.

‘Quite chipper’

Morrisons has been in the throes of a reorganisation for the past 18 months, led by chief executive David Potts, who took over the running of the business from Dalton Phillips in February 2015. Changes have included pulling out of running smaller convenience stores under the M name, as well as a focus on cutting prices. Alongside this, Morrisons has added new products to its premium range – sold under the “Best” label – which it said had proved “very popular”.

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