Morrisons would consider a joint bid for Safeway if regulators were to block bids from all potential suitors, said chairman Sir Ken Morrison.

Responding to a question at the agm, Sir Ken said he would be happy to look at any proposition including a joint bid but would wait until after the Competition Commission had delivered its judgment.

Speaking to The Grocer at the meeting, Sir Ken said he would continue to drive further south whatever the outcome of the auction and that he had put in an application for a third RDC at Latimer Park, Kettering, to support that growth.

Morrisons would probably not be interested in acquiring any Somerfield stores in the event of a sell-off, he added. “We like to operate from larger stores, so it’s doubtful.”

Like-for-like sales in the 14 weeks to May 11 were up 8.4% with petrol and 6.9% without. Numis Securities said the figures were “substantially ahead” of its expectations.