Morrisons has announced a 1% rise in total sales, excluding fuel, for the 13 weeks to 3 November 2013. However, like-for-like sales dropped 2.4%.

The retailer said consumer confidence remained subdued and it continued to see heavy promotional activity across the industry.

In its third quarter trading statement, Morrisons said that as previously indicated, its low exposure to the key areas of growth in the industry - convenience and online - continued to impact sales.

It said it was progressing well with its plans to increase its presence in these areas, with its online proposition in place and deliveries to commence in Warwickshire initially, in January 2014. Online food deliveries would then roll out to Yorkshire, and Leeds soon after. The retailer said it expected to be serving over 50% of UK homes, including in the London area, by the end of next year.

It opened a further 36 M Local convenience stores during the year, bringing its net total to 69. Its Fresh Format concept was also introduced in a further 42 stores.

The retailer has also completed the first phase of its own-brand development programme, with around 11,000 redeveloped products launched.

Dalton Philips, chief executive, said: “We continue to grow our sales in this tough market while making great progress on our strategy to be a multi-channel retailer. I said at the outset that our online offer would be unmistakably Morrisons and I’m very confident that the service we unveil in January will live up to that promise.”