Morrison 12-Week Revenue Rises for Second Month, Kantar Reports

William Morrison Supermarkets Plc (MRW)’s 12-week sales advanced for a second consecutive month, as the U.K. grocer fought back from six straight periods of decline with revamped stores and a high-profile advertising campaign.

Sales in the 12 weeks to May 12 rose 1.2 percent, following a 0.3 percent gain in the 12 weeks to April 14, according to researcher Kantar Worldpanel. Morrison’s market share fell to 11.6 percent in the period ended May 12 from 11.9 percent a year earlier.

“Although Morrisons shows a share loss, it is worth noting that the retailer returned to growth in 2013 and continues this upward trend in the latest period,” said Edward Garner, a director at Kantar Worldpanel. “With its plans for online and accelerated convenience-store coverage now in place, the retailer will hope that successful implementation will return it to share growth.”

Morrison last week entered into a 170 million-pound ($257.5 million) deal with online supermarket Ocado Group plc (OCDO) for a belated entry to the Web grocery market in the U.K. Morrison is also ramping up convenience-store openings to regain market share from competitors such as Aldi and Lidl.

J Sainsbury Plc (SBRY) was the only one of the four biggest U.K. grocers to win market share on an annual basis, the Kantar data showed, while Waitrose, Aldi and fellow discounter Lidl all had record market share. Spending at Sainsbury increased 5.6 percent in the 12-week period and market share rose to 16.8 percent from 16.5 percent a year earlier, Kantar said.

The U.K.’s largest supermarket Tesco Plc (TSCO)’s share fell to 30.2 percent from 30.8 percent, with sales up 1.7 percent.

Waitrose’s 12-week sales climbed 12 percent, while its market share rose to 4.9 percent from 4.5 percent. Aldi’s revenue jumped by 31.5 percent and market share advanced to 3.5 percent from 2.8 percent.

Market share at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT)’s Asda chain weakened to 17.2 percent from 17.4 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gabi Thesing in London at gthesing@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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