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Morrisons turnaround continues with third quarter of like-for-like sales growth

Published 15/09/2016

Morrisons said like-for-like sales grew 2% in the second quarter
Morrisons said like-for-like sales grew 2% in the second quarter
David Potts has embarked on a number of measures to reverse years of stagnation at the grocer

Morrisons has bagged a third consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth as the supermarket continues its turnaround under chief executive David Potts.

The supermarket said like-for-like sales grew 2% in the second quarter, while pre-tax profit for the six months to July 31 rose 13.5% to £143 million.

Chairman Andrew Higginson said: "The new team has made a real difference and delivered further good progress across the board in the first half. Prices are lower, customers are being served better and quality is improving."

Turnover edged down 0.4% to £8.03 billion in the half year, with like-for-like sales up 1.4% in the six months to July 31.

The firm said it has seen "no negative impact" on customer sentiment or behaviour as a result of the EU referendum.

Mr Potts, who has embarked on a number of measures to reverse years of stagnation at the grocer, said he is planning more improvements.

James Grzinic, analyst at Jefferies, said: "We had pretty hefty expectations for Morrisons interims, and they were beaten across the board.

"Progress in laying the foundations has been strong in recent months given agreements with Timpson, Amazon and Ocado. We expect more news to emerge on this in the months to come."

Mr Potts has this year inked a new deal with Ocado and signed a landmark agreement with US online giant Amazon to supply fresh food to its customers.

The firm, which is embroiled in a bitter grocery price war, last month revealed that it was slashing selected meat and poultry prices by 12%.

All of the so-called big four supermarkets - Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons - have been cutting prices to compete with German upstarts Aldi and Lidl, which have eroded their market share.

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