Morrisons Posts Solid Q3 Performance

Morrisons, the UK’s fourth-largest grocery retailer, has reported a solid trading performance for its third quarter, helped by a rise in food inflation.
The Bradford-based supermarket said sales, excluding petrol and VAT, at stores open at least one year rose by 1.3 per cent for the 13 weeks to 31 October, compared to growth of 0.9 per cent in the first half of 2010.
Total sales in the third quarter were up by 2.8 per cent on the previous twelve weeks and 4.7 per cent higher when taking fuel into account.
In its trading update, the retailer said: “In a continuing difficult environment for the consumer, performance in the third quarter has been in line with our expectations. Accordingly our financial outlook for the year remains unchanged.”
Richard Pennycook, Morrisons finance director, said the figures represented “a solid performance in a difficult consumer environment”, but he warned that retailers face a “tough Christmas “.
Morrisons has launched its Collector Card loyalty scheme for the third year in a row. The scheme, which has helped drive Christmas sales in recent years, is to be extended into January to help customers cope with the rise in VAT.