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UK grocer Morrisons' sales fall again

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Morrisons, Britain's No. 4 grocer, posted another big fall in quarterly underlying sales, as it continued to be hurt by its move to cut prices to counter a loss of market share to the discounters and by a weak overall food market.

The Bradford, northern England, based group, which trails market leader Tesco, Wal-Mart's Asda and J Sainsbury in annual sales, said on Thursday sales at stores open over a year, excluding fuel, fell 6.3 percent in the 13 weeks to Nov. 2, its fiscal third quarter.

That compares to analyst forecasts for a fall of 5.2 percent and a second quarter decline of 7.6 percent.

However, Morrisons said it remained confident in its full year 2014-15 profit outlook.

It now expects underlying profit before tax to be in the narrower range of 335-365 million pounds ($536-584 million) versus previous guidance of 325-375 million pounds, after 65 million pounds of new business development costs and 70 million pounds of one-off costs.