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Morrisons cheers an 'especially strong' Christmas

Morrisons cheers an 'especially strong' Christmas

The supermarket also said this morning that its previously announced tie-up with convenience store chain McColl's will kick off this month following the completion of trials. At the other end of the spectrum has been Persimmon (LON:PSN), whose shares have been sold off on the back of the group's trading update.

The festive results, which covered the six weeks to 7 January and encompassed Christmas and New Year, come alongside like for like sales growth for the longer 10-week period, up 2.8 per cent.

The number of transactions also rose by 2.3 per cent over the crucial Christmas period, alongside a rise in like-for-like volumes.

Sales of its premium range "Best" were up 25 per cent, which it attributed in part to the broader range on offer.

'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.

Automated ordering was live in all stores across most categories, Morrisons said, which helped maintain stock levels throughout the period, while customer satisfaction improved year on year.

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 previous year.

"Morrison's wholesale activities are also becoming more significant with a deal to supply the McColl's convenience store chain, which will see the renaissance of the Safeway brand later this month".

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "The supermarket says it has become more competitive, which in an environment of inflationary pressure means it has likely taken some hit on margins, or passed some pain further up the supply chain, or both".

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