Morrisons Posts 8 Per Cent Sales Rise

Morrisons has reported an 8.1 per cent rise in like-for-like sales for the third-quarter of 2008, driven largely by its budget food ranges and in-store promotions.
The group yesterday announced that total sales were up 9.5 per cent, while sales including fuel for the 13-week period to November 2 rose 14.9 per cent.
The supermarket’s Q3 sales growth exceeds the 7.6 per cent rise reported for the first half of the year and also outstrips those of its major rivals – Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys .

Earlier this week, Britain’s biggest retailer reported a mere 2 per cent improvement in like-for-like sales – the company’s worst performance since the early 1990’s recession – while quarterly sales at Asda and Sainsbury’s rose by 6.9 per cent 4.3 per cent respectively.
Morriosns chief executive Marc Bolland said the grocer’s efforts in reducing customers’ shopping bills and fuel costs had been “extremely popular”, with more than 700,000 new shoppers entering its stores across the UK each week.
“In this challenging economic environment more customers than ever before are choosing Morrisons,” he commented.
“Our industry-leading deals and unique fresh food offer have attracted over seven hundred thousand new customers to our stores.”
Morrisons image as a lower-priced alternative to many of its rivals as helped boost its market share as shoppers cut back on spending to cope with the economic downturn . According to latest TNS data, the retailer held an 11.4 per cent share of the UK supermarket sector in the 12 weeks to 2 November.
Morrisons also announced it had agreed a deal to buy 38 former Somerfield and Co-operative Food stores for £223.1 million.
A statement from the group said: “The acquisition is conditional upon a successful completion of the Co-operative Group’s acquisition of Somerfield and certain competition approvals.”

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