Belfast Telegraph

Morrisons enjoys a bumper Christmas with luxury range

By Holly Williams

Morrisons hailed its strongest festive sales growth for seven years after it tempted shoppers to splash out on its revamped premium range, including macarons and gold-dusted salmon.

Chief executive David Potts said the group had "found our mojo" as it posted a 2.9% hike in like-for-like sales excluding fuel for the nine weeks to January 1, meaning full-year profits are set to beat City expectations.

The update sets the scene for an impressive Christmas for the sector thanks to a "remarkable" end-of-year spending spree, according to experts at Nielsen.

They said UK supermarkets enjoyed their best Christmas for four years, with sales up 3.3% across the sector over the four weeks to December 31.

Morrisons shares leapt more than 4% higher, with the festive sales cheer also sending listed rivals sharply higher.

Sainsbury's shares rose 2% and Tesco leapt 4% ahead of their updates on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

Morrisons said customers traded up for their festive fare, with its new Best range proving popular after it added another 100 premium products over Christmas.

Best-sellers included smoked salmon with gold lustre, while it also sold 50,000 packs of "shimmering macarons".

Mr Potts, who has been leading a turnaround since taking the helm at the company last year, said the group also sold 37,000 Santa-shaped butter packs, as well as 7,000 tonnes of vegetables thanks to a three-for-£1 deal.

Belfast Telegraph