Rami -Sir Ken

Morrisons has posted its strongest quarterly growth for three years as its turnaround under new CEO Rami Baitiéh gathers pace.

The Bradford-based grocer on Thursday announced a 4.6% rise in group like-for-like sales (ex fuel) in its first quarter to 28th January, with total sales up 3.9% to £3.9bn.

This compares to organic growth of just 0.1% in the first quarter of last year and represents the group’s seventh consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales improvement and its best three month period since 2021.

Its first quarter growth builds on sales improvement of 3.3% in the fourth quarter of its previous financial year and is its fifth consecutive quarter of positive sales growth.

Morrisons highlighted the impact of its Aldi and Lidl price match on sales momentum after introducing the offer in February 2024.

Additionally, it is seeing ongoing gains in convenience as it nears completion of the conversion of the 910 McColl’s stores it bought into Morrisons Dailys.

The converted McColl’s stores are seeing like-for-like gains of approximately 20% on conversion, with double-digit uplifts in the stores’ second year.

CEO Rami Baitiéh commented: “In January I outlined our plan to reinvigorate, refresh and strengthen Morrisons as we started our next chapter.

“Those plans are now in full swing with the whole business engaged in the three key pillars of work that will be the foundation of the future for Morrisons: commercial excellence, operations optimisation and new value creation.”

“Across the business we have identified many areas where we can raise our game and make small improvements which collectively will result in a significantly enhanced shopping experience for our customers.”

He pointed to significant improvement in its key customer metric of complains, which are down almost 60% in the past 20 weeks.

“For longer term and sustainable growth, we have developed new plans for growth in wholesale, convenience, franchise, export markets and global sourcing and we are now moving quickly to implement them.”

“There is a real sense of optimism and renewal running through the whole company as we return to a growth path.”

Baitiéh also highlighted the progress Morrisons is making in its franchise business, which it has built a new team to accelerate customer acquisition and it is opening an average of three franchise convenience stores a week with plans to open “many more” in the coming months.

The quarterly results come as Kantar found Morrisons sales were up 3.6% over the 12 weeks to 17 March, higher than Asda and Aldi (up 0.2% and 3.1% respectively) and marks more than one year of consistent growth for the retailer.