Monday 31 October 2016

Morrisons is set announce its rising of sales


High street supermarket chain Morrisons's chief executive Dave Potts is set to hail its recovery this week, when he is expected to announce a fourth consecutive quarter of rising sales.

The Bradford-based retailer will release its third-quarter trading update on Thursday and according to its house broker Shore Capital, it should say that its like-for-like sales have increased by 1.5 per cent.

For the same period last year, its sales fell 2 per cent. As part of his turnaround plan, former Tesco executive Potts has cut prices, simplified the supermarket’s range, improved product availability and customer service and closed unprofitable stores.

The launch of its own label "The Best" range of ingredients and meals has also driven sales.

Shore Capital head of research Clive Black said: "Morrisons is making good, steady progress and we are expecting like-for-like sales to come in at 1.5 per cent for the quarter. It is now in turnaround, but there is still plenty of work to do."

Although its performance is improving, Black believes that Potts will say that the market remains incredibly competitive and that customers will "need to be looked after", as inflation is rising.

Under Potts, Morrisons has cut the price of more than 4,500 items. Sales have improved markedly since the third quarter of 2015 and its shares have risen by 32 per cent over that last 12 months, closing on Friday at 226.1p.

According to data from market research group Kantar Worldpanel, the firm’s share of the grocery market has stabilised at 10.4 per cent since September.

Retail analysts say that the turnarounds seen at Morrisons and Tesco are coming at the expense of rivals Sainsbury’s and Asda.



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