Morrisons has announced a 2.5% increase in like-for-like sales in its third quarter trading statement.

The sales growth, which covers the 13 weeks to 29 October and excludes fuel, marks the eighth consecutive quarterly rise in like-for-likes for the supermarket chain.

Total sales excluding fuel were up 2.3%, while the number of like-for-like transactions increased by 2.1%.

The group’s Best premium own label range has increased to almost 1,000 items and will be double last year’s offer by Christmas.

It is also extending its store pick home delivery catchment area in the North East, meaning more households will be able to access

Chief executive David Potts said: “We are pleased with a further step up in our competitiveness and another period of positive like for like sales growth. I am confident our plans to keep serving customers better will enable us to continue the strong momentum of the year so far, into the important fourth quarter.

“As we work towards becoming a broader, stronger business, a new Morrisons is taking shape, built by our colleagues on firm balance sheet foundations.”