Morrisons’ sales growth slows despite record number of customers in stores

SUPERMARKET giant Morrisons has seen record numbers of customers in its stores but the new financial year has been hit by a slowdown, it said in a trading statement yesterday.

The group has continued to grow market share in the first quarter with sales, excluding fuel, up 5.9 per cent in the 13 weeks to 2 May.

Including fuel total sales went up by 9.5 per cent while the company said its forecasts for full-year profit remained unchanged.

The figures were the first issued with new chief executive Dalton Philips at the helm. Its former chief executive, Marc Bolland, who left the company in December, has just taken up his new post running Marks and Spencer.

Morrisons blamed the slowdown in like-for-like sales on easing commodity prices and the “virtual elimination of food inflation”.

Morrisons said in a statement: “The group has continued to grow share in the first quarter, although the new financial year has seen the anticipated slowdown in the market. “Although we remain cautious on the economic environment and consumer spending, our expectations for the current year remain unchanged.”

Morrisons has 400 stores.