Morrisons sales nudge up again as management “simplifies and speeds up” business

Like-for-likes excluding fuel rose 0.7 per cent in the 13 weeks to 1 May. That follows on from growth registered in its Christmas trading update in January, which was the first time the supermarket had been in positive territory in 16 consecutive quarters, reports CityAM.

Total sales dropped 1.8 per cent, however this was largely down to the planned store closures, and its exit of the M convenience chain.

Like-for-like transactions rose 3.1 per cent in the quarter, but deflation stood at 2.6 per cent.

Morrisons’ share price nudged up 0.5 per cent in early trading.

This quarter marks the first year with David Potts at the helm and it’s clear that already the supermarket is showing signs of improvement under his leadership.

Potts has cut back head office staff in order to bring more jobs to the shop floor, hired a new management team and embarked on a major cost-cutting programme, which includes the closure of several stores.

“We continue to simplify and speed up the business, and improvements we are making to the shopping trip are proving popular with Morrisons customers”, the supermarket said.

However, the retailer is clearly still struggling with the price wars being pushed by budget grocers Aldi and Lidl, which are affecting the wider sector, and in particular the Big Four.

Potts added: “We are encouraged by progress across our six priorities. There is still much to do and our colleagues are working very hard to improve the shopping trip and save customers every penny we can.

“Customers are responding and satisfaction levels remain ahead of last year. We are of course pleased with a second consecutive quarter of positive like-for-like sales, which demonstrates our aim to stabilise trade is taking effect.”