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LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Morrisons, Britain's No. 4 supermarket group, on Tuesday beat forecasts with its strongest underlying sales performance for seven years over the key Christmas period, building on a year of growth under a new management team.
The Bradford, northern England, based grocer also raised its profit guidance.
Morrisons said sales at stores open over a year, excluding fuel, rose 2.9 percent in the nine weeks to Jan. 1, the bulk of its fourth quarter.
That compared to analysts' average forecast of growth of 1.1 percent and third quarter growth of 1.6 percent.
The firm said it now expected a 2016-17 underlying profit before tax to be ahead of consensus in the range 330-340 million pounds ($401-$413 million). ($1 = 0.8230 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)