Morrisons Suffers Slowdown In Q1 Sales Growth

Supermarket chain Morrisons has reported a sharp drop in underlying sales growth for the first quarter of 2010.
Like-for-like sales at its UK stores increased by just 0.8 per cent, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, in the 13 weeks to May 2, compared with levels recorded over the same period last year.
The figure is a considerable drop from the 4.8 per cent growth rate recorded in the previous quarter and the market-beating 6.5 per cent rise over Christmas.
Total first quarter sales, which also exclude fuel and VAT, rose 5.9 per cent, or 9.5 per cent with fuel sales taken into account.
A statement from the grocery retailer said: “We are satisfied with our sales performance, which has continued to outpace the market despite facing tough prior year comparative numbers.”
“Although we remain cautious on the economic environment and consumer spending, our expectations for the current year remain unchanged.”
Despite the slowdown in sales growth, Morrisons revealed it had seen a record number of customers pass through its 400-plus stores during the 13 week-period as a result of sharp pricing and promotions such as “price crunch”.
“Our keen pricing, supported by eye-catching and innovative promotional offers, has again proved successful as consumers have continued to search for value,” it added.
The UK’s fourth largest supermarket recently appointed Dalton Philips as its new chief executive following the departure of former CEO Marc Bolland, who has taken over the reigns at Marks and Spencer .