Sales data due from Morrisons

New boss of Morrisons Dalton Philips will present his first update for the supermarket group on Thursday when it reports back on trading in the three months to April.

The former Wal-Mart executive started at the helm of the Bradford-based chain on March 29.

Its first quarter update will come just days after his predecessor, Marc Bolland, takes up the top job at rival retailer Marks & Spencer.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Mr Philips will be looked to for news on how Morrisons has fared after a quarter of falling food price inflation.

The supermarket has been a star performer in recent months, but it faces a challenge in maintaining profit margins as inflation drops.

While its other main three competitors Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda, have been ramping up efforts on non-food ranges to offset the impact, Morrisons has no general merchandise offering to provide an alternative revenue stream.

Bank of America analysts are predicting that Morrisons will have seen like-for-like sales drop to around 0.8 per cent in the first quarter.

However, recent market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel suggest that Morrisons was able to shrug off these pressures and grow its market share year-on-year, to 11.8 per cent in the 12 weeks to April 18.