Morrisons sales up 8% as champagne, salmon cheer

Bradford-based supermarket giant Morrisons said on Tuesday its like-for-like sales for the first 22 weeks of its second half to January 3 were up 8.1%.

“Shopping patterns and customer behaviour were different this year as the COVID-19 restrictions made larger gatherings of family and friends more difficult,” said Morrisons.

“In the lead-up to Christmas we saw more customers shopping earlier than in previous years and a renewed focus on traditional Christmas fare.

“Champagne sales were up 64% compared to last year, whole salmon up 40% and Free From mince pies up 14%.

“Our new doorstep delivery service completed over 35,000 orders in the two weeks before Christmas, delivering to the vulnerable, the elderly, the isolating and the isolated to make sure no-one was left behind.”

In its outlook, Morrisons said: “While the extremely unpredictable current circumstances, and the consequences for both consumer behaviour and our COVID-19 costs, make precise guidance difficult, we still expect 2020/21 profit before tax and exceptionals to be in line with our expectations, in the range £420m – £440m prior to the rates payment of £230m.”