FTSE 100 Rebounds As Morrisons Posts Strong Christmas Sales

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FTSE 100 Rebounds As Morrisons Posts Strong Christmas Sales

Retail stocks led the way, after Morrisons reported sales growth over the Christmas period ahead of forecasts, sending its shares 2.4% higher to 232.3p.

The supermarket also said this morning that its previously announced tie-up with convenience store chain McColl's will kick off this month following the completion of trials.

Morrisons" LFL sales were up 2.3% year-on-year, with sales of the supermarket's "Best' premium range driving volumes - up 25%. Morrison also has a tie-up with Amazon as part of the USA tech giant's foray into online grocery delivery in the United Kingdom, so the supermarket has irons in a few fires. Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) is now leading the sector higher, having gained 3.57 percent to 321.91p, while shares in Morrisons are changing hands 1.59 percent up at 230.50p.

'A 2.8% increase in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, in the 10 weeks to 7 January represented the ninth straight period of growth and an acceleration on the prior three-month period, as Morrisons focused on providing growth at the right price in its stores, showed solid growth online and benefited from faster growth in wholesale'.

Morrisons' Christmas trading in particular will be welcome news for investors after it topped consensus.

Morrisons said it improved its performance by having "more tills open, shorter queues, and customers noticed our colleagues' friendliness even at the busiest times".

The chain said it had "become more competitive, and despite the rising cost of many commodities the price of a basket of key Christmas items was the same as the previous year".

"The supermarket says it has become more competitive, which in an environment of inflationary pressure means it has likely taken some hit on margins, or passed some pain further up the supply chain, or both".

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