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Morrison Supermarkets ups profit forecasts after good Christmas

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Staff Writer | January 10, 2017
Morrison Supermarkets
Retail   Total sales were 2% higher

On the back of its strongest festive performance for seven years, Wm Morrison Supermarkets said it expects full year profit to be ahead of market consensus.

For the nine weeks to January 1, the supermarket group grew like-for-like sales excluding fuel 2.9%, which would if nothing untoward happens in the rest of the month would represent the fifth consecutive quarter of growth in LFL sales.

Total sales were 2% higher, in spite of the impact of store closures made by chief executive David Potts as he has turned around the underperforming grocer.

For the full year to the end of January, the FTSE 100 company estimated that it will produce underlying profit before tax within a range of £330-340m, versus the Vuma consensus of £326m.

Sifting through the sales data, online sales contributed 0.6% to the LFL figure for the nine-week period, while transaction numbers grew 5.2% though basket size fell. Including fuel, group LFL sales grew 4.7% and total sales were up 4.0%.

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