Morrisons has reported a 3% increase in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, for the 23 weeks to 15 July.

Growth had slowed since the chain's annual general meeting in May when it reported like-for-like growth of 4%, reflecting tougher comparisons against last year when sales benefited from good weather and the World Cup, the company said in a trading update.

“Sales volumes are lower than we would like, but the company's new marketing and store programme will commence later this month,” said chairman Sir Ken Morrison.

“Good progress is being made towards meeting our ambitious margin and cost targets and we are confident that we are well on track to deliver our expected outcome for the year,” he added.