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Morrison W.Sprmkts (MRW)

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Monday 09 January, 2012

Morrison W.Sprmkts

Post Christmas Trading Statement

RNS Number : 1840V
Morrison(Wm.)Supermarkets PLC
09 January 2012
 



News Release   

Record customer numbers at Christmas for Morrisons

 

Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC provides a pre close update ahead of its financial year end on 29 January 2012

Trading

In the 6 weeks to 1 January total sales* excluding fuel were up by 2.9% (5.6% including fuel). Like for like sales* grew by 0.7% (3.7% including fuel). In a challenging Christmas period for the consumer the Group has delivered sales growth in line with the market.

We have continued to focus on providing a winning combination of outstanding quality, sharp prices and innovative promotional offers, which resulted in an extra 800,000 customers per week shopping with Morrisons during the period. As expected, Christmas trading came late this year with a greater emphasis on fresh food playing to Morrisons traditional strengths.

Despite the pressures that the increased level of trading over the period brings, store standards, service levels and availability were excellent throughout, reflecting the robustness of our supply chain and the professionalism of our colleagues.

At our preliminary results announcement in March 2011 we announced a programme to retire £1 billion of equity over the next two years. The programme is ongoing and to date we have acquired 108.3m shares at a total investment of £316.6m. The Group's financial position remains strong and we expect full year net debt to be in the range of £1.4bn - £1.5bn.

Outlook

We had anticipated that 2011 would be challenging for the consumer and that we would be operating in a low growth sales environment. We planned our business on that basis and accordingly, the Board's expectations for the full year remain in line with its original assumptions.  

In 2012 the UK consumer environment will remain cautious despite an anticipated reduction in inflationary pressures. Against this backdrop, our fresh, quality and value credentials continue to appeal to a growing customer base and we are well positioned to make further progress.

Commenting on Morrisons Christmas trading, Chief Executive Officer, Dalton Philips said;

"I am pleased that in a difficult trading environment we have continued to grow our business  and have delivered another good performance in a very tough market.  At Christmas, when customers are even more focused on great quality food at outstanding value, we really need to serve our customers well. We've done that and I thank all our 130,000 colleagues for their outstanding efforts."

 

*exc. VAT and reported in accordance with IFRIC 13

 

Enquiries:

 

Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc

                                   

Richard Pennycook - Finance Director                                     0845 611 5000

Niall Addison - Investor Relations Director                               07764 624701

 

Media Relations

 

Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc           Richard Taylor             0845 611 6912

                                                            Julian Bailey                 0845 611 5362

Citigate Dewe Rogerson:                      Simon Rigby                020 7282 2847

Kevin Smith                 020 7282 1054

 

 

There will be an analyst conference call at 9.00 a.m. today, details as follows:

 

Dial in number:     0208 817 9301

Passcode:            635 0587

 

Replay facility available for 7 days

Replay access number:  0044 (0)20 7769 6425

Replay access code:      6350 587#

 

 

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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