Morrisons' growth leaves rival grocers trailing in its wake
The grocer Morrisons has streaked ahead of its big three grocery rivals by posting robust third-quarter sales growth, but it warned that a third of its shoppers have "nothing left" at the end of the month.
The supermarket's sales were strongest in London and the surrounding South-east, but its focus on fresh food and low prices and its new ready-meal ranges helped it serve an extra 450,000 shoppers a week across the UK.
Morrisons posted underlying sales up by 2.4 per cent, excluding fuel and VAT, in the 13 weeks to 30 October, trouncing City expectations.
The figures suggest the UK's fourth biggest grocer is growing faster than Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco – a view supported by this week's closely watched Kantar Worldpanel data for the 12 weeks to 30 October.
Dalton Philips, the chief executive of Morrisons, said: "The like-for-like sales growth is the strongest out there and has been the strongest all year. Right through 2011 we have seen volume growth in a market that has seen volumes decline."
Total sales at Morrisons rose by 4.6 per cent over the quarter and by 7.6 per cent when petrol is included.
But Mr Philips said that a third of the grocer's customers have "nothing left at the end of the month" and it is timing its promotions to coincide with a spike in activity around pay-day at the end of the month. For instance, Morrisons is now providing more promotions on bulk buys towards the end of the month, as more shoppers share their purchases with friends and freeze food.
Mr Philips said: "Consumer sentiment is at the lowest in a generation and people are being frugal and they are having to de-risk their shop." The combination of more consumers eating at home – as opposed to at restaurants – and the recent launch of its new own-label M Kitchen ranges has helped Morrisons increase its ready-meal sales by 60 per cent. Morrisons is expanding rapidly and said it was on track to add 600,000 square feet of new space this financial year.
The grocer declined to comment on its interest in Iceland Foods, which is up for sale for up to £1.5bn.
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientists who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 3 Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' by Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
- 5 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: Olympic star must serve 10 years, prosecutor urges
Isis fighters 'crucify' 17-year-old boy in Syria
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Oscar Pistorius sentence: Athlete's wealth and notoriety provoke an overdue debate on South African prisons
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
iJobs Money & Business
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...
£50000 - £55000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Relationship M...
Highly Attractive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NOTTINGHAM - BRILLIANT FIRM - You wil...