Morrisons has reported a second quarter of rising like-for-like (LFL) sales, as it continues to cut costs and prices, although total sales fell due to store closures.

For the 13 weeks to 1 May, the supermarket’s LFL sales (excluding fuel) grew by 0.7% compared to the year before, but overall sales were down 1.8%.

The retailer said it was helped by a 17% rise in sales from its Food to Go range, which includes freshly-made sandwiches. Total sales fell after Morrisons closed unprofitable supermarkets and sold its M convenience stores.

Morrisons said in the trading update that prices were down 2.6% from a year earlier as the supermarket price war continued.

David Potts, Morrisons chief executive, said there was "still much to do".

He said: "Customers are responding and satisfaction levels remain ahead of last year. We are, of course, pleased with a second consecutive quarter of positive like-for-like sales, which demonstrates our aim to stabilise trade is taking effect.”

He also added he was encouraged by the progress being made by the company, following a long period of declining sales and profits.

Morrisons shares rose 1.9% to 191.1p this morning (5 May).

In March, 2 Sisters Food Group appointed Martyn Fletcher, previously group retail director at Morrisons, to the newly-created role of chief operating officer of protein.