May 10, 2018 / 6:15 AM / in 5 months

Morrisons quarterly sales beat forecasts, silent on Sainsbury's-Asda

LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) - Morrisons, Britain’s fourth biggest supermarket operator, beat forecasts for first-quarter underlying sales growth helped by growth in its wholesale business.

The company, based in Bradford, northern England, also said on Thursday that its expectations for the 2018-19 year were unchanged.

Its trading statement made no reference to last week’s 7.3 billion pound ($9.90 billion) bid by industry No. 2 Sainsbury’s for No. 3 Walmart’s Asda - a deal that would overtake market leader Tesco.

Morrisons said group like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose 3.6 percent in the 13 weeks to May 6, its fiscal first quarter.

That compared to analysts’ average forecast of 2.8 percent and marked a tenth straight quarter of growth, following growth of 2.8 percent in the previous quarter.

$1 = 0.7377 pounds Reporting by James Davey; editing by Jason Neely

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