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Morrisons reports tough Christmas

Morrisons is the first UK-listed supermarket to report Christmas trading and, as feared, it wasn't pretty
Morrisons reports tough Christmas

Investors' fears of a downbeat Christmas performance from the UK supermarkets have been realised, after Wm Morrison (MRW) reported like-for-like sales (excluding fuel) down 1.7 per cent in the 22 weeks to 5 January, with management noting consumer uncertainty remains high.

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The announcement comes just a few days after discount rival Aldi announced sales growth of 7.9 per cent in the four weeks to Christmas Eve 2019, although broker Shore Capital noted aggressive discounting of vegetables may have weighed on the gross margin.

The wholesale division saw sales growth impacted by lower sales at McColl's, although the group’s trial conversion of 10 McColl’s shops to Morrisons Daily convenience stores has reportedly performed well.