Sir Ken: progress ahead of schedule
The recovery has continued at supermarket Morrisons, with a steady increase in like-for-like sales.

In the 25 weeks to July 25, like-for-likes were up 4.6 per cent, excluding fuel, and 6.6 per cent if petrol sales are included. The improvement was felt both in the core Morrisons estate and in those stores converted following the takeover of Safeway.

Total sales were flat, as a result of the large number of stores Morrisons has sold since the takeover.

More recent trading is even stronger, with a 7.5 per cent increase in like-for-likes (excluding fuel) in the last nine weeks of the period.

Chairman Sir Ken Morrison said the board was happy with the company's progress, adding that its plan to improve the gross margin by 90 basis points in three years was ahead of schedule.