Morrisons posted a Q£ rise in sales but is cautious about the UK economy

Morrisons posted a Q£ rise in sales but is cautious about the UK economy

UK grocery retailer Morrisons has hailed its focus on food, promotions and pricing for a rise in third-quarter sales, but remains wary of the wider economy.

For the 13 weeks to end of October, the supermarket chain posted a 4.6% rise in total sales excluding fuel, while like-for-like sales rose 2.4%.

A company statement said "record" numbers of customers visited stores and sales continued to grow "ahead of the market".

A statement said: "As we anticipated at our interim results announcement in September, the economic environment has remained challenging during the third quarter.

"Morrisons focus on providing top-quality, fresh food and keen pricing, backed by an exciting and innovative range of promotions, has again met our customers' expectations.

"We remain cautious on the overall economic environment and will continue to manage the business accordingly. Our good performance in the third quarter was in line with our expectations and the board's financial outlook for the year remains unchanged."

In the period Morrisons opened ten new stores, including a second convenience outlet, and said it is on track to add 600,000 sq ft of new space during the year.

The company will update on its initiatives for profitable growth and efficiency in its preliminary results in March 2012.