- Morrisons' group like-for-like sales excluding fuel improved by 7.3% so far in its four quarter, driven by sales over Christmas and New Year.

So far in the fourth quarter of its financial year, online sales have tripled across all channels.

Like for sales ex-fuel was 7.1% in the third quarter, then increased to 7.3% for the nine weeks of Q4 to date, with the three weeks over Christmas and New Year seeing sales improve to 8.0%.

The firm said its amazing colleagues have continued to rise to the unprecedented challenges and have been key in further driving the momentum of the business.

Underlying performance was again very strong throughout the whole period, with significant operational gearing offsetting both the extra COVID-19 costs and other profit impacts that have increased further since the introduction of the most recent tier systems in early December.

All customer and brand metrics have improved, market share has grown, and our online and wholesale channels are growing very rapidly as we develop as a multi-channel business.

David Potts, Morrisons' chief executive, 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.

"But I'm even more proud of the broader contribution that the Morrisons team has made to the communities we serve - through foodbank donations, doorstep deliveries to the vulnerable, discounts for key workers, the work of our 500 community champions and the countless small acts of kindness that have made a particular difference this year." Story provided by