Morrisons’ sales are down

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Morrisons has slumped to another six months of sliding profits and sales as it said its customers have yet to benefit from the improving economy.

The UK’s fourth-biggest grocer, which has two stores in Portsmouth, one in Gosport and one in Horndean, delivered a worse-than-expected 1.6 per cent decline in underlying sales in the six months to the start of August, while pre-tax profits dived 22 per cent to £344m.

It said customers’ incomes are shrinking under relentless pressure from stubbornly high inflation, as the recovery proves ‘slow and fragile’.

Customers are increasingly shopping about for bargains, it added, with more than 40 per cent visiting multiple supermarkets on one shopping trip, and they are buying less food as they stick rigidly to budgets.

But the chain reported progress with its network of convenience stores. It has 33 and expects to have 100 by the end of its year.