Morrisons faces fresh woe as half-year sales set for decline

 
Kasmira Jefford
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MORRISONS is this week expected to show it has come under further pressure in the first half of the year as a result of gloomy weather conditions and fiercer competition from rival Asda after the rival’s merger with discounter Netto.

Analysts are forecasting that like-for-like sales at the supermarket could be down by 0.7 per cent or as much as 1.5 per cent. Pre-tax profits are expected to have fallen by two to three per cent to £434m-£427m.

Recent Kantar data saw the retailer’s sales trailing behind rivals, which analysts attributed to tougher trading conditions and Asda’s recent acquisition of Netto’s stores located close to Morrisons home territory in the north of England.

Worries that Morrisons has been slow in rolling out convenience stores and its online platform have also overshadowed the group.

Chief executive Dalton Philips is expected to counter criticism by mapping out further plans for the group’s online arm, its M Local stores and plans to convert more shops to its new fresh-food format.