morrisons the best

Morrisons is to double the size of its The Best premium own-label range by the end of the year.

This week Morrisons reported a seventh successive quarter of like-for-like growth. Revenues in the first half to 30 July increased 4.8% to £8.4bn, with like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT, rising 3% compared with just 1.4% a year ago.

The supermarket registered a 2.6% like-for-like increase during the second quarter, with 2.5% coming from stores and 0.5% from wholesale.

Underlying pre-tax profits rose 12.7% to £177m and reported profits rose 40% to £200m.

In the results statement Morrisons said it planned to have 1,000 products in The Best range by the end of the year, having initially launched the range last year with 470 lines, plus an additional 100 Christmas products.

“A new Morrisons is beginning to take shape,” said CEO David Potts.

“Our supermarkets continue their focus on improving the customer shopping trip and in wholesale supply we are beginning to realise some of the opportunities.”

Morrisons said the continued rollout of its automated M-ordering system was helping to reduce cost and stock levels, save time for staff and improve availability.

The system is now in all stores and being used across the majority of food categories. It will be “fully operational” in time for Christmas, added Morrisons.

In the first half, Morrisons’s partnership with forecourt specialist Rontec saw an additional 23 Morrisons Daily c-stores open, taking the total to 33.

In addition to these Rontec-owned and operated sites, Morrisons is extending the Daily fascia to some of its own petrol forecourts.

It also said it was looking to improve the convenience offer in all its forecourts by the end of the year.

Chairman Andrew Higginson said: “With good trading momentum and a strategy to build a broader, stronger Morrisons, the business is well set to continue to deliver consistent and sustainable growth.”