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09 May 2019 | 07:29

Morrisons posts 2.3% rise in Q1 LFL sales, remains confident in future growth

Morrisons reported a 2.3% increase in Group like-for-like sales excluding fuel in the first quarter amid continued "robust" retail sales performance despite ongoing political and economic uncertainty.

For the 13 weeks to 5 May, like-for-like sales including fuel were 2.7%.

This comprised contributions from retail of 0.2% and wholesale of 2.1%. In the first quarter of the previous year, they had each contributed 1.8%.

Group LFL including fuel was up 2.7%. Total sales* were up 2.4% excluding fuel (2.9% including fuel).

Sales were also strong during Easter, with like-for-like sales up 1.7% on 2018 and 3.4% on a two-year basis.

Morrisons wholesale business also continued to make good progress, it said, with the first McColl's conversions to Morrisons Daily and MPK conversions to both Morrisons Daily and Safeway Daily starting well, with strong sales increases.

Looking forward, the company said it expected the market to remain "competitive and challenging", but remained confident of the firm's sales and profit growth opportunities.

However, it issued a caution ahead of the second quarter, which would face comparison with last year's favourable summer weather and the World Cup.

"We...continue to expect that [sales and profit] growth to be both meaningful and sustainable," the company said.

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