Supermarket chain WM Morrison has heralded its Optimisation Plan of business and IT improvements a success in its interim management statement for the first quarter. Savings from the plan has enabled Morrison to achieve sales growth ahead of its own expectations.

Since its acquisition of rival Safeways in 2004 the management team at Morrison have been involved in the Optimisation Plan, a £450 million project to renew the store presentation, branding and vehicle fleet of WM Morrison.

Garry Barr, IT director at WM Morrison is overseeing the introduction of a standardised Oracle platform to the supermarket chain. His £110m budget includes the integration of the Oracle E-business Suite, CRM, identity management, Fusion middleware and systems for branding and merchandising.

In its management statement WM Morrison said the Optimisation Plan had delivered "better than projected improvements". The supermarket chain expects to report full year profits of £70m. "The remaining Optimisation Plan initiatives are progressing well and are also expected to exceed our expectations by £20m," the statement said.
"The business' performance to date, the successful implementation of the Optimisation Plan and its continuing customer growth now give the Board confidence that the company's full year results will be ahead of its earlier expectations."

WM Morrison is a CIO 100 ranked retailer.