Shares of Bradford-based retailer Morrisons rose another 4% after it said sales in the nine weeks to January 1 were the strongest in seven years and that it now expects 2016-17 underlying profit before tax to be ahead of consensus, in a range between £330 million and £340 million.
Morrisons shares jumped to around 246p, giving the company a current stock market value of more than £5.5 billion.
The company’s shares have risen more than 60% in the past year.
Morrisons said that in the nine weeks to January 1, like-for-like sales excluding fuel were up 2.9% and up 4.7% including fuel, its strongest performance for seven years.
Morrisons CEO David Potts said: “This Christmas we made further improvements to the customer shopping trip.
“We stocked more of what our customers wanted to buy, more tills were open more often, and product availability improved as over half of sales went through our new ordering system.
“Both like-for-like and total sales grew, which was very encouraging.”