Business

Morrisons cheers an 'especially strong' Christmas

Morrisons has said it enjoyed an "especially strong" festive season as it posted a 2.1 per cent rise in sales

SUPERMARKET Morrisons has said it enjoyed an "especially strong" festive season as it posted a 2.1 per cent hike in sales after keeping a lid on price rises for cash-strapped shoppers.

The Bradford-based chain said the like-for-like retail sales performance in the 10 weeks to January 7 came as it resisted hiking prices despite surging costs, with the price of a basket of key Christmas items the same as last year.

For the crucial six-week Christmas and New Year period, same-store retail sales picked up pace, rising by 2.8 per cent, Morrisons said.

Including a 0.7 per cent rise in wholesale trading, group like-for-like sales excluding fuel rose 2.8 per cent over the 10 weeks, while online sales at Morrisons.com grew by more than 10 per cent.

Morrisons kicks off the festive trading updates from the Big Four supermarkets with a better-than-expected set of numbers.

Analysts had pencilled in a 1.7 per cent rise in group comparable sales.

David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: "More and more customers found more things they wanted to buy at competitive prices at Morrisons this Christmas.

"Our plans to become a broader and stronger business are progressing well, with another period of positive like-for-like sales and the start of the rolling programme to supply McColl's," he added.

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