Supermarket giant Morrisons tipped to reveal soaring Christmas sales

Morrisons is set to reveal soaring Christmas sales as the tightening of coronavirus restrictions continued to aid grocery trading in recent months.

Big Four supermarket chain Morrisons is due to unveil its latest set of trading figures to investors in a Christmas update.
Big Four supermarket chain Morrisons is due to unveil its latest set of trading figures to investors in a Christmas update.

The supermarket chain is due to unveil its latest set of trading figures to investors in a Christmas update next week.

A consensus of analysts have said they expect the grocer to post an 8.3 per cent rise in like-for-like group sales for the past 22 weeks of the second half of the financial year.

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Analysts have forecast that this will include an acceleration in sales over the Christmas period following 7.9 per cent like-for-like growth in the third quarter.

But this represents a slight slowdown in sales after sustained high demand during the first national lockdown helped Morrisons deliver 8.8 per cent like-for-like growth in the first half of the year.

England’s second national lockdown in November and more severe tiered restrictions are expected to have boosted sales further during the key Christmas period.

Nevertheless, Morrisons warned at the start of December that the impact of Covid-19 is expected to cost it £270 million by the end of 2020/21, some £40m above previous expectations.

Earlier this month, it also followed Tesco in choosing to hand back its business rates relief for the year to the UK government.

It said it will return a sum of £274m, with £230m of that relating to the financial year to January 2021, but chief executive David Potts said the company would not need to change profit expectations suggesting healthy recent trading.

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