10 Jan, 2017
Morrisons benefit from strong Christmas results
The UK’s fourth largest supermarket posted a 2.9% rise in like-for like sales over the nine weeks to 1 January, their best performance for seven years.
The news sent shares in Morrisons soaring to 4%. The retailer now expects annual underlying profits to reach around £330m-£340m, surpassing earlier forecasts of £326m. A significant improvement from the previous year’s figure of £242m.
The trading figures are indicative of the recent turnaround in fortunes since David Potts was appointed as chief executive of Morrisons in March 2015. He took over the reins after his predecessor Dalton Philips left the company amid sliding sales and profits.
Mr Potts revealed that Morrisons had made some improvements to the seasonal shopping trip. The retailer performed well in categories such as fresh food, beers, wines and spirits. Its premium Nutmeg clothing line had also received positive results.
Under the charge of Mr Potts, Morrisons ditched their underperforming network of convenience stores. They have also rebooted its internet offerings, adding a tie-up with Amazon to its existing online grocer Ocado.
Mr Potts 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".
According to latest figures released by industry analysts from Kantar Wolrdpanel, Morrisons had a 10.9% share in the UK grocery market in the 12 weeks leading up to 1 January. However, the figures also showed that Tesco continue to dominate the sector with a share of 28.2%.
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