Morrisons has seen 14 consecutive quarters of sales growth come to an end but the supermarket major yesterday cheered a new agreement with internet titan Amazon.
Sales in the three months to 4 August fell by 1.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis, with the result impacted by a strong comparison with last summer, which had better weather and major sporting events to provide a boost.
Total revenues for the six months to the same date nudged up 0.4 per cent to £8.83 billion and pre-tax profits were up 48.5 per cent to £202 million, leading to the payout of a second special dividend this year.
The primary focus for the group is on expanding its wholesale business, with chief executive David Potts saying he wants to see more of his products in high street convenience stores.
A trial with McColl’s to provide food and drink is progressing well, according to Morrisons, as a new forecourt partner and export partner were unveiled.
The new multi-year agreement with Amazon will enable more shoppers to order Morrisons products for same day delivery via the internet giant – expanding on a previous trial.
Arlene Ewing, investment manager at Brewin Dolphin, said: “Brexit uncertainty continues to impact on consumer sentiment across the sector, but Morrisons’ expansion of its partnership with Amazon shows a clear focus on becoming a major player in online groceries, which could help to boost its performance before the end of the financial year.”