Morrisons shares recover from drop on sales dip

<p>Morrisons has posted a seven per cent drop in its latest sales data.</p>

The share price of UK supermarket company Morrisons was down this morning (May 8th) following the release of the latest sales data by the firm, but recovered later.

It announced that over the ten weeks to May 4th, like-for-like sales were down by more than seven per cent, with this dip rising to over eight per cent if sales of fuel are included in results.

In the trading statement, Morrisons pointed out that the trading period was a competitive one for the company and this explains why there was a 4.2 per cent fall in total sales – 5.6 per cent including fuel – over the course of the quarter.

Strategy shift

Morrisons pointed out that it is only a few weeks since the company announced plans to achieve savings of £1 billion over the coming three years and moves are still being made to ensure this goal is reached. The firm noted the aim of this change in strategy is to “strengthen our business and reinforce our core customer proposition”.

The company said: "Since then we have been making significant improvements to the layout of our stores and on May 1st cut prices permanently on over 1,200 of the products that matter most to our customers, firmly re-establishing our credentials as a value-led grocer with a focus on fresh food."

Chief executive at the supermarket chain Dalton Philips stated that the plans laid out by the business in March are "on track". He added: "The reaction of our customers to the 1,200 'I'm Cheaper' price cuts we announced last week has been very positive.

"Although it will take time for their full impact to be felt, we are confident that these meaningful and permanent reductions in our prices will enable our clear points of difference to resonate strongly with consumers."

Following the release of the sales data, shares in the company fell heavily in the early stages of trading on the London Stock Exchange. However, there was a recovery later in the morning and by 09:51 BST stocks were narrowly up compared to the start of the day.

At 11:54 BST, stocks were 2.78 per cent higher.

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