“A solid start” to the financial year, is how Morrisons is describing its first quarter results, which showed like-for-like sales (excluding fuel) fell 1.8% over the 13 weeks to May 5th.

Chief executive, Dalton Philips, stated that emphasis had been placed on marketing, with “competitive couponing” and the new Ant and Dec fronted adverts:

“Our promotions have been more innovative and we are explaining Morrisons points of difference more effectively.  These efforts were further reinforced by the horsemeat scandal which helped drive increasing customer recognition of Morrisons unique supply chain and approach to meat sourcing. They now understand that Morrisons is best placed to sell food that is what it says it is.”

2013 is going to be a major year of change for the UK’s fourth largest supermarket, with online operations in partnership with Ocado set to launch next year and earlier this month it announced that it had invited agencies to pitch for its £73m advertising account. 

“Strategically, our ambition of building a genuinely multi-format, multi-channel Morrisons is right on track,” added Philips.

Total sales excluding fuel were up 0.6%, and the Bradford-based company stated that its full year expectations remained unchanged.