Like-for-like sales at Woolworths slipped 4.4% in the 18 weeks to June 4, the group has revealed.

Ahead of the retailer’s annual general meeting this morning, Woolworths said that a poor release schedule of its entertainment goods had led to the slip.

Like-for-like sales excluding entertainment were down 0.3% for the period.

Woolworths chairman, Gerald Corbett, said that action had been taken to limit the impact of negative sales, with space allocation in stores changed to support stronger selling products.

Woolworths is expected to fight off questions this morning surrounding private equity group Apax’s decision to walk away from an £837m bid for Woolworths earlier this year.