Christmas sales boost: Morrisons reports strong trading

Lloyd Doyle
January 12, 2018

But as shoppers shrugged off concerns over tighter household budgets and traded up over the period, industry data has suggested Tesco was the big victor.

Tesco lost almost 2 percent after its sales grew 3.1 percent in the 12 weeks to December 31, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

"Despite input cost pressures on many commodities, the price of a basket of key Christmas items was the same as a year ago", the company said. The uplift came with an increase in volume, with like-for-like transactions up 2.3 per cent year-on-year.

Catherine Shuttleworth, chief executive at retail marketing agency Savvy, said: "Better than anticipated results from Morrisons this morning showing that shoppers spent a greater proportion of their Xmas cash with the supermarkets this year".

Tesco (LON:TSCO) proved the best performer of the big four supermarkets in the U.K, with sales up 3.1 percent across the period. The supermarket's own figures, covering the 10 weeks to 7 January saw like-for-like sales up 2.8 per cent, with total sales up 2.6 per cent.

Overall supermarket sales were up 3.8 percent for the 12 weeks to December-end.

"More and more customers found more things they wanted to buy at competitive prices at Morrisons this Christmas".

'The battle between the bulls and the bears continues at Morrisons but it is the shareholders rather than the short-sellers who are raising a glass to the grocer's Christmas trading statement, ' said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

Morrisons will start supplying all 1,650 McColl's stores with both Safeway products and national brands will begin this month after successful trials.

Shares in Persimmon meanwhile have been sold off after the blue-chip housebuilder reported in a trading update that it expected that its pre-tax profits for the year ended December 31, 2017, would be "modestly" ahead of market consensus.

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