Morrisons first-quarter sales up 3.9% to £3.9bn

Bradford-based supermarket giant Morrisons has reported its strongest quarterly like-for-like (LFL) sales growth for three years and seven consecutive quarters of LFL sales improvement.

For its first quarter, covering the 13 weeks from October 30, 2023, to January 28, 2024, Morrisons said total sales ex-fuel rose 3.9% to £3.9 billion.

US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) completed a £7 billion takeover of Morrisons in 2022.

Morrisons CEO Rami Baitiéh said: “In January I outlined our plan to reinvigorate, refresh and strengthen Morrisons as we started our next chapter.

“Those plans are now in full swing with the whole business engaged in the three key pillars of work that will be the foundation of the future for Morrisons: commercial excellence, operations optimisation and new value creation.

“Across the business we have identified many areas where we can raise our game and make small improvements which collectively will result in a significantly enhanced shopping experience for our customers.

“Availability, waste, newness, innovation, speed and accuracy are all on an improving trend and our customers are beginning to notice.

“Our key customer metrics are improving and complaints – which in many ways are the canaries in the retail coalmine – are down almost 60% in the last 20 weeks.

“For longer term and sustainable growth, we have developed new plans for growth in wholesale, convenience, franchise, export markets and global sourcing and we are now moving quickly to implement them.

“In our franchise business, for example, we have built a new team specifically to accelerate new customer acquisition and recently we have opened, on average, three franchise convenience stores a week and we intend to open many more in the coming months.

“I have been so impressed with the way all our colleagues are embracing the start of our next chapter and I want to thank every one of them for the important part that they are playing in shaping our future.

“There is a real sense of optimism and renewal running through the whole company as we return to a growth path.”