UK supermarket William Morrison has reported an 8.4% rise in like-for-like sales for the first 14 weeks of its financial year, compared to 7.6% growth in the first five weeks.

Excluding petrol, sales growth was 12.5%, or 6.9% on a same-store basis.

“These increases are the result of both higher average number of customers per store and a rise in transaction values,” the north of England-based family firm was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Morrisons sparked a bidding was earlier this year when it made an offer for UK supermarket chain Safeway. Rival supermarket chains Tesco, J Sainsbury and Wal-Mart’s Asda have all since expressed interest in acquiring Safeway. Retail entrepreneur Philip Green has also said he may bid for the chain.

Possible bids from Morrisons and the other supermarket chains are currently undergoing an investigation by the competition authorities.