Morrisons set to reveal a new profit blow

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The Independent Online

The chief executive of the Morrisons supermarket chain will have to defend another fall in profits this week, although he is expected to boast of a turnaround following its recent dire sales.

Dalton Philips will update the market on Morrisons' rapid opening of smaller convenience stores and its plans to launch food online in January following its recent £170m agreement with the internet sales specialist Ocado.

This Thursday, Morrisons is expected to post an 8 per cent fall in its profits to £410m in the half-year to 4 August, on a flat total revenue of £9bn.

The grocer's sales at stores which have been open for at least a year tumbled by 1.8 per cent in its first quarter but JP Morgan Cazenove has forecast a decline of just 0.2 per cent in the second quarter.

Mr Philips recently claimed that Morrisons is "fit for the future" following a £300m upgrade of its infrastructure.

He is also trying to grow Morrisons' market share in the lucrative London market.