viewWM Morrison Supermarkets PLC

Retail winners and losers: Morrisons, Debenhams, Greggs, Boohoo.com and AO World

Morrisons and Debenhams emerged as the latest winners of the high street battle

Retail spending rose 0.9% year-on-year in the final quarter of 2015, the BRC said

Two high street stalwarts that have had a tough time lately emerged as surprise winners in the post-Christmas retail stakes on Tuesday.

Morrisons (LON:MRW) cheered the market by announcing higher like-for-like sales in the run-up to Christmas and said its recovery plan was making progress.

Some analysts had expected a fall similar to the chain's performance in the third quarter, when sales dropped 2.6%.

Morrisons has been among the main victims of the flight to discounters Aldi and Lidl, leading to the departure of chief executive Dalton Philips last year.

There was also good news from department store group Debenhams (LON:DEB), which has been trying to shore up its position between discounters and the top end of the market.

The chain benefited from a shift away from clothing sales, with 55% of revenue now coming from areas such as cosmetics and beauty products.

One of Debenhams's rivals in the online arena, Boohoo.com (LON:BOO), also emerged victorious from the round of trading updates.

It said trading in the four months to December 31 had been very encouraging across all regions, with overall revenue growth of 45%.

The results contrast with downbeat reports from Next (LON:NXT) and Marks & Spencer (LON:MKS) last week, the latter announcing that boss Marc Bolland was quitting.

Investors also lost their appetite for shares in Greggs (LON:GRG) after the bakery chain said sales had slowed in the fourth quarter.

Elsewhere, investors pushed white goods retailer AO World (LON:AO.) over the winning line with a 2% rise in its shares after its third quarter results.

The online outfit announced growth across the board in its UK business and said its fledgling German operation had also increased revenue.

So, the winners are in the lead so far, but the British Retail Consortium (BRC) rained on their parade by revealing that retail spending rose by a "disappointing" 0.9% year-on-year in the final quarter of 2015.





AO World



Marks & Spencer


Quick facts: WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC

Price: 184.15 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £4.43 billion

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