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Morrisons shares rise on strong sales

Morrisons shares (LON: MRW) opened higher on Tuesday after the group posted an 8.1% rise in like-for-like sales in the 22 weeks to the 3 January.

Including fuel, the rise in sales was 1.9%. Strong demand over the festive period saw online sales triple as sales in salmon increased by 40%, champagne sales were up 64% and mince pies sales grew by 14%.

Despite the rise in sales, Morrisons has said that profits are likely to be hit the new lockdown measures. Total Covid-related costs this year are expected to reach £280m.

Full-year profit forecast is between £420m and £440m, which remains in line with expectations despite the “extremely unpredictable current circumstances”.

Chief executive David Potts said: “The pandemic has had a severe effect on people and communities around Britain for nine months now but it has been especially hard at Christmas time.

“I’m very pleased with the way the Morrisons team has helped our customers across the nation enjoy their Christmas in the best way they could — with safe shopping, great service and outstanding stores even in the most difficult circumstances.”

Morrisons has said that it will offer its car parks to host vaccination centres. Three car parks would be hosting vaccinations this week and the supermarket will offer another 47 locations to help with the rollout.

Morrisons shares (LON: MRW) are trading -0.25% at 180.65 (1132GMT).

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