Amid all the excitement over the High Court ruling that the triggering of Article 50 must be debated by Parliament, the papers still find room to take a look at Morrisons’ positive third quarter results. The Mail writes that CEO David Potts’ turnaround plan is working as the supermarket reported its fourth consecutive quarter of sales growth thanks to a record Halloween. Halloween helped the grocer shift more than a million pumpkins and 140,000 fancy dress costumes, The Times reports. A new premium range also helped Morrisons boost like-for-like sales by 1.6%, The Guardian says. The Financial Times points out that the performance came despite growing pressure from low-cost competitors and the prospect of rising inflation. The paper adds that Morrisons been boosted by a grocery supply deal with Amazon.
Ingredients group Tate & Lyle also reported strong results yesterday. The Financial Times writes that the fall in sterling helped sweeten the business’ results as profits surged 83%. The London-based company generates less than 2% of its revenues in the UK and most of its earnings are in dollars. Tate & Lyle said if exchange rates stayed at current levels, full-year adjusted profits would benefit by £40m. The Telegraph reports claims from CEO Javed Ahmed, who has overseen a major restructuring at the ingredients giant after two years of “calamitous” trading, that growing demand for sugar-free, low-calorie and high-fibre foods will help drive growth at Tate & Lyle over the next few years. And The Times’ Tempus shares column, which has the stock as a ‘buy’, says Tate looks sweeter without the sugar. “Tate & Lyle is arguably in a better position than it has been since the decision in 2010 to part company with Mr Cube and get rid of the sugar business. There have been a few slips on the way, as investors will be all too aware.”
The Mail reports that Marks & Spencer is set to shut some of its international stores as part of a major cost-cutting drive. The paper says the high street bellwether will use Tuesday’s half-year results to signal the closure of a raft of shops around the globe, including in China.