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Morrisons disappoints city

UK supermarket giant Morrisons has today disappointed analysts in the city with like-for-like sales up by just 0.8% over the last three months compared to the same period last year. This is well down on analyst's expectations of a 3% increase in like-for-like sales and the shares were hit today after a bout of selling. However, the company believes that tough comparisons from last year have somewhat masked the real underlying strength of the business as has the elimination of "food inflation".

It will be interesting to see how Morrisons performs in the short term because the company has made up significant ground on its competitors over the last two years. However, the departure of former chief executive Marc Bolland to competitor Marks & Spencer was a body blow to the company and all eyes will be on the performance of Morrisons during the remainder of 2010. Marc Bolland will be a very difficult act to follow as he effectively turned around the business after the disastrous acquisition of Safeway.

We will only be able to really compare the relative performance of Morrison's against the likes of Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's once we have figures from the other UK supermarket giants. We await further details with anticipation.

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