Morrisons hails best Christmas performance in seven years
The Morrisons supermarket chain has reported that like-for-like sales excluding fuel rose by 2.9% in the run-up to Christmas to mark its strongest festive performance in seven years.
In the nine weeks to 1 January, total sales excluding fuel increased by 2% despite the continuing impact of store closures.
Like-for-like transaction growth was strong, up 5.2% year-on-year during the period.
The supermarket said the growth was a result of an improved shopping experience for customers both in its stores and online. During the period, Morrisons.com achieved its biggest ever week for sales.
David Potts, Morrisons chief executive, said: "This Christmas we made further improvements to the customer shopping trip. We stocked more of what our customers wanted to buy, more tills were open more often, and product availability improved as over half of sales went through our new ordering system. Both like-for-like and total sales grew, which was very encouraging.
"Eighteen months ago, I said that this would be a colleague-led turnaround, and our improving performance is entirely due to the continuing hard work of the Morrisons team of food makers and shopkeepers. I would like to thank all colleagues for making Christmas and New Year extra special for our customers."
Morrisons said its new 'Best' range is proving very popular, with over half of customer baskets including at least one 'Best' item. The supermarket launched over 100 new 'Best' products for Christmas shoppers in addition to the first 470 products launched last autumn.
The supermarket now expects its 2016/17 underlying pre-tax profit to be ahead of consensus and in the range of £330 million to £340 million.
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