• Morrisons like-for-likes jump 3.4% in first quarter
  • Sales rise marks grocer’s sixth consecutive quarter of growth
  • Boss David Potts says Morrisons is becoming “more popular and accessible for customers”

Morrisons has racked up its sixth consecutive quarter of sales growth as the grocer continues its turnaround efforts.

The supermarket giant posted a 3.4% jump in like-for-like sales excluding fuel during the 13 weeks to April 30, driven by “more customers shopping more often” at its stores.

Morrisons said its core retail business contributed 3% to its growth in the quarter, while its wholesale operations — including the deal to supply thousands of fresh, frozen and ambient products to Amazon — accounted for the remaining 0.4%.

The grocer said the number of transactions in its supermarkets jumped 4.6% on a like-for-like basis during the period, but the number of items per basket tumbled 6.9% as customers made smaller, more regular shopping trips.

Morrisons, which in March registered its first full year of profit and like-for-like sales growth since 2012, said it was aided by “some inflation” in the quarter, as the shelf price of grocery lines imported from outside the UK was hit by the fall in the value of the pound.

Despite currency headwinds, the Bradford-based business said it remained “focused on the journey towards a Morrisons price list and becoming more competitive for customers.”

New initiatives

Earlier this week, the retailer slashed prices of more than 1,000 products in the latest wave of its ‘Price Crunch’ initiative – a rolling programme of reductions typically lasting three months at a time.

During the 13-week period, Morrisons expanded its premium ‘Best’ offer and introduced a new healthy eating ‘Eat Smart’ range.

The grocer rolled out its new Nutmeg womenswear lines to more than 50 stores and extended the brand into baby and child accessories.

Morrisons also launched a new website, flowerworld.co.uk, offering fresh bouquets to customers across the UK, with free next-day delivery.

Morrisons boss David Potts said he was “confident” that the business would continue to grow.

He added: “Our new financial year has started well, thanks once again to the dedication of our team of food makers and shopkeepers.

“We are improving the shopping trip in many different ways, which is making Morrisons more popular and accessible for customers.

“These new initiatives in-store, online, in wholesale and services are beginning to build a broader, stronger Morrisons.”