By Daniel Hunter

Morrisons has suffered another blow in its plans to turnaround the business with a big drops in sales.

Like-for-like sales in the three months to the start of November were down 6.3% compared with a year earlier.

That may not seem like a huge figure, but a 1% drop in supermarket sales is usually considered to be a big fall. And when Tesco's sales were down by 4% in October, it was considered a huge fall.

In June, Morrisons launched a £1bn, three-year turnaround plan.

Chief executive Dalton Philips said he was "encouraged by the further progress we have made", although he doesn't expect sales to improve until the second half of the 2014-15 financial year.

Shareholders reacted positively to news. Share prices were up 6% as results improved slightly on previous quarters.

The fall of 6.3% is smaller than in previous quarters when the supermarket reported drops of 7.1% and 7.6%.

Total sales, excluding fuel, were down 3.6% in the quarter.

Today (Thursday), Danish discount supermarket Netto returned to the UK in a joint venture with Sainsbury's.

Phil Dorrell, director of retail consultants, Retail Remedy, said:

"Morrisons continues to run around the UK grocery sector like a headless chicken. These latest numbers are proof positive of its ongoing lack of direction.

"The store format remains old fashioned and is unlikely to attract a younger customer base. In too many locations, Morrisons stores feel like a boneyard where old retail formats go to die."

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