Britain's Wm Morrison Supermarkets posted a worsening sales fall over Christmas and said although it was disappointed with its performance it would still meet year profit forecasts.
The UK's fourth-biggest grocer behind market leader Tesco , Wal-Mart's Asda , and J Sainsbury , said on Monday sales at stores open over a year, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, fell 2.5 percent in the six weeks to December 30.
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That was worse than a fall of 2.1 percent in its fiscal third quarter and compared with analyst forecasts in a range of down 2-3 percent.
Many of Britain's store groups are finding the going tough as consumers fret over job security and a squeeze on incomes.
"2012 was difficult for the consumer and the sales environment has proved to be challenging," said the firm.
"Through the self help available to us we have managed our business tightly and accordingly the board believes that our full year performance will be broadly in line with its expectations."
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)