Morrisons – which was crowned In-store Bakery Retailer of the Year at the Baking Industry Awards in September – has reported its fourth consecutive increase in like-for-like sales.

The retailer announced a 1.6% increase in like-for-likes (excluding fuel) in the 13 weeks to 30 October. Total sales excluding fuel were down 1.2%, which Morrisons said was a result of the continuing impact of supermarket closures and sale of its M Local convenience stores.

Morrisons said it was continuing to attract more customers by improving the shopping experience, with the number of like-for-like transactions up 4.1%. Prices had fallen 1% on average as the business invested to become more competitive.

“We are becoming better food-makers and shopkeepers,” it added in a statement, “and we were delighted to win two prestigious industry awards recently: In-store Bakery Retailer of the Year at the Baking Industry Awards and National Café Chain of the Year at the Café Quality Food Awards.”

Activity in the past quarter has also included the rollout of hundreds of products under new premium range The Best.

Morrisons plans to extend The Best range in the run-up to Christmas as it aims to boost performance around seasonal events. The retailer said this Halloween had been its “biggest ever”, with seasonal Halloween sales up around 20% year-on-year.

“Our like-for-like sales have now been positive for a year, which is thanks to the hard work and dedication of the whole Morrisons team,” said chief executive David Potts.

“There is a lot more we plan to do. We will keep investing in becoming more competitive and improving the shopping trip, and I am confident we will serve our customers even better during the important trading period ahead.”

Analyst Edison said maintaining progress would be more challenging in Q4 as this would be the first quarter that would be compared with a positive growth.