Results boost Morrisons shares

10-08-2006

Morrisons' share value rose by 3.52 per cent on the London Stock Exchange following the publication of impressive interim results this morning.

The supermarket chain, continuing on its road to recovery, announced an increase in like-for-like first half sales of 6.6 per cent this morning.

Benefiting from higher food sales thanks to the World Cup and the hotter weather, it beat analysts' predictions by posting an overall sales increase, excluding fuel sales, of 4.6 per cent.

Sales that were created by new floor space were measured at an additional 1.9 per cent.

Sir Ken Morrison, chairman of the supermarket, commented: "The board is pleased with the progress being made towards the delivery of our optimisation plan targets; in particular our goal to improve gross margin by 90 basis points over three years, which is being delivered ahead of plan."

Morrisons has struggled to maintain positive momentum since it took over the Safeway chain in 2003 but is gradually getting back on track after recording improved results nine weeks ago at its AGM.

Since then sales have increased by 6.1 per cent, excluding fuel sales.

Total sales for the group only increased by 0.1 per cent but the grocery chain said this was the result of its ongoing store disposal programme which had begun last year.


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