Christmas trading updates
Fourth Xmas rise at Morrisons, record sales at Greene King
Morrisons, the supermarket chain, reported a fourth consecutive rise in sales over Christmas, while Belhaven-owner Greene King reported a new Christmas Day record.
Shoppers spent a record £29.3bn at supermarkets over the 12 weeks to 30 December, Kantar Worldpanel said.
David Potts, chief executive, said: “Our performance shows colleagues are listening hard and responding to customers.
“Morrisons is well set to keep improving the shopping trip and become more and more relevant for more customers”.
The company said its 2018/19 year-end expectations are unchanged.
Aldi’s figures published yesterday showed that sales climbed 10% in the week before Christmas.
Emma-Lou Montgomery, associate director at Fidelity Personal Investing’s share dealing service, said: “Morrisons is playing hard-ball when it comes to giving customers low prices, as it showed with the round of new year price cuts it implemented ahead of this trading update.
“But while Morrisons has held its own, with a 3.6% rise in group sales, that’s a far cry from Aldi’s 10% rise and less than the 4.5% it achieved in the first half of the year.
“Investors will just hope the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket group isn’t leading the charge in a race to the bottom.”
LFL net profit was down approximately 1% while total beer volumes in Brewing & Brands were up 1.8% and own-brewed volumes were down 2.3%.
Greene King operates 2,798 pubs, restaurants and hotels across England, Wales and Scotland, of which 1,714 are retail pubs, restaurants and hotels, and 1,084 were tenanted, leased and franchised pubs. Its main retail brands are Greene King, Chef & Brewer, Farmhouse Inns and Hungry Horse.
The company also brews ale brands from its Bury St. Edmunds and Dunbar breweries. Its portfolio includes Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale and Belhaven Best.