Morrisons, the UK's fourth-largest food retailer, has reported a 9.5% rise in sales over Christmas.

The company said sales growth during the six weeks to 6 January was boosted by an advertising campaign focusing on fresh food, price and Christmas promotions.
 
Morrisons said these initiatives increased footfall, with more than 4m extra customer visits over the six week Christmas period.
 
"I am delighted with our Christmas performance," said CEO Marc Bolland. "We welcomed significantly more customers to our stores, and they were well served with attractive offers and great fresh food. These strong results are further evidence that our rigorous focus on freshness, service and value is striking a chord with shoppers."

Morrisons outperformed its UK rivals over the Christmas period. Last week, Tesco reported underlying UK sales growth of 3.1%, slightly lower than the 3.7% rise in sales registered by Sainsbury's a week earlier.
 
"We expect the market to remain competitive and we are cautious on the outlook for consumer spending.  However, we believe that our strong value credentials will serve us well in these conditions," Morrisons said.