Festive boost for Morrisons supermarket
Supermarket Morrisons has thanked surging sales of its premium range and efforts to keep a lid on prices for better-than-expected Christmas trading.
The Bradford-based chain said group like-for-like sales excluding fuel jumped 2.8% in the 10 weeks to January 7, with retail sales up 2.1% and wholesale 0.7% ahead.
It said it enjoyed an "especially strong" festive season as sales picked up pace in the last seven weeks - up 3.7% across the group after a 2.8% jump in retail and 0.9% wholesale rise.
The group cheered a 25% year-on-year leap in sales of its Best premium range, while it also saw solid sales of its Nutmeg range of children's clothing and a good response to its recently overhauled non-food offering.
The UK's fourth biggest supermarket kicked off the festive trading updates with a stronger-than-forecast set of numbers, after analysts had pencilled in a 1.7% rise in group sales for the 10 weeks.
Shares lifted as much as 4% before paring back to stand 2% higher after its trading update.