British supermarket group Morrisons returned to underlying sales growth in its latest quarter, saying it was benefiting from a push to improve its price competitiveness.
The group, owned since 2021 by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, said on Thursday its like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, rose 0.1% in the 13 weeks to Jan. 29, its fiscal first quarter.
It said total revenue was up 3.4% to £4.71 billion (€5.3 billion).
'Market Share Has Stabilised'
"Our market share has stabilised, our inflation rate is below our peers, and Morrisons' traditional competitiveness, colour and dynamism is steadily returning to every part of the business," said CEO David Potts.
He said the group was targeting £700 million (€793 million) of cost savings over the next three years, enabling it to further invest in its loyalty programme, grow its convenience store business and mitigate the cost headwinds it faces.
Competitive On Key Items
In January, Morrisons forecast a return to earnings growth this year as a push to keep a lid on prices started to win back cash-strapped shoppers.
At the time, Potts said the company's focus since October was on becoming more competitive on key items that had started to bear fruit, and further work on prices that would help it add customers this year.
That turnaround gave Potts confidence that earnings would grow this year, despite continued cost and inflationary headwinds.
'Meaningful Price Cuts'
"Since October we have executed a rolling programme of meaningful price cuts, price freezes and fuel promotions for our customers and our competitive position has considerably sharpened," he said.
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