Morrisons achieves strongest quarterly like-for-like sales growth for three years

Morrisons has reported accelerated sales growth for the past quarter amid a drive to revitalise the supermarket chain.

The company revealed that group like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT, rose by 4.6 per cent over the three months to January 28.

Morrisons said it represented the strongest like-for-like sales growth for three years. Total sales were up 3.9 per cent to £3.9bn for the period.

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The Bradford-based retailer was bought for £7bn by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) in 2021.

Morrisons has revealed an acceleration in sales growth for the past quarter. (Photo by David Parry/PA Wire)Morrisons has revealed an acceleration in sales growth for the past quarter. (Photo by David Parry/PA Wire)
Morrisons has revealed an acceleration in sales growth for the past quarter. (Photo by David Parry/PA Wire)

In January, Rami Baitieh, who was appointed chief executive of Morrisons in November, said the company was developing plans to “reinvigorate, refresh and strengthen” the business.

Commenting on the latest quarterly update, Mr Baitiéh said those plans are now in full swing “with the whole business engaged in the three key pillars of work that will be the foundation of the future for Morrisons: commercial excellence, operations optimisation and new value creation”.

He added: “Across the business we have identified many areas where we can raise our game and make small improvements which collectively will result in a significantly enhanced shopping experience for our customers.

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“Availability, waste, newness, innovation, speed and accuracy are all on an improving trend and our customers are beginning to notice.

“Our key customer metrics are improving and complaints – which in many ways are the canaries in the retail coalmine – are down almost 60 per cent in the last 20 weeks.

“For longer term and sustainable growth, we have developed new plans for growth in wholesale, convenience, franchise, export markets and global sourcing and we are now moving quickly to implementthem.

“In our franchise business, for example, we have built a new team specifically to accelerate new customer acquisition and recently we have opened, on average, three franchise convenience stores a week and we intend to open many more in the coming months.

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“I have been so impressed with the way all our colleagues are embracing the start of our next chapter and I want to thank every one of them for the important part that they are playing in shaping our future.

“There is a real sense of optimism and renewal running through the whole company as we return to a growth path.”

Morrisons also revealed that the McColl’s conversion programme is nearing completion with more than 910 McColl’s stores now converted to Morrisons Dailys.

Morrisons has seen its share of the UK grocery market decline in recent years as cash-strapped shoppers have increasingly moved towards discounter rivals.

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In January, the retailer agreed a £2.5bn deal to sell its 337 petrol forecourts to Motor Fuel Group (MFG), which is also owned by privateequity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

The company was founded in 1899 by William Morrison, who started the business on a market stall in Bradford.

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