Page last updated at 08:47 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

'Excellent' sales for Morrisons

Morrisons supermarket in Llanelli
The company has been focusing on fresh food and promotional offers

Supermarket chain Morrisons has said it had an "excellent" Christmas, with like-for-like sales excluding fuel up 8.2% in the six weeks to 4 January.

The Bradford-based group said its results were helped by its focus on fresh food and promotional offers.

Last week, Tesco said its like-for-like Christmas sales rose 2.5%. Sainsbury's earlier reported a 4.5% rise.

Morrisons said it remained cautious on the outlook for consumer spending, with the market set to stay challenging.

We believe it will become harder for Morrisons to improve market share in a more competitive market
Freddie George, Seymour Pierce

According to recent data from market researcher TNS Worldpanel, Morrisons reached its highest market share to date in the 12 weeks to 28 December of 11.9%.

"I am pleased with Morrisons excellent Christmas trading, having attracted 2.2 million extra customers with great fresh food and industry leading value," Morrisons chief executive Marc Bolland said in a trading update.

But the group's shares opened slightly lower despite the news.

"We believe it will become harder for Morrisons to improve market share in a more competitive market, which is likely to see greater discounting from Tesco trying to recapture market share," said Freddie George, a retail analyst at Seymour Pierce stockbrokers.

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SEE ALSO
Tesco sees 'challenging' trading
13 Jan 09 |  Business
Festive trade cheers Sainsbury's
08 Jan 09 |  Business
New shoppers push Morrisons sales
04 Dec 08 |  Business
Sales growth slows down at Tesco
02 Dec 08 |  Business
Firms thriving ahead of downturn
01 Dec 08 |  Business
Pinch helps discount supermarkets
20 Nov 08 |  Business


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