Shares in Wm Morrison fell on the FTSE 100 after the group said that it had seen an "anticipated slowdown in the market" in the first quarter of the new financial year.

The supermarket said that total sales in the 13 weeks to 2 May were up 5.9 per cent and rose 0.8 per cent on a like for like basis. The group said its net debt was in line with expectations.

Wm Morrison said that it had seen record numbers of customers in the first quarter and said that falling commodity prices had led to lower market growth and the "virtual elimination" of food inflation.

This week saw the group's former CEO, Marc Bolland move to Marks & Spencer. He has been replaced by Dalton Philips.

The group said in a statement, "Although we remain cautious on the economic environment and consumer spending, our expectations for the current year remain unchanged."

Richard Hunter, Head of UK Equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, commented, "By its more recent standards, today's update from Morrisons is somewhat disappointing.

"With the virtual disappearance of food price inflation and the interruption of a new Chief Executive finding his feet, the company has struggled to make meaningful progress over the period. Furthermore, given its accelerated growth over the last year, comparatives will become increasingly challenging. Nonetheless, the company maintains that its expansion is still ahead of its rivals, whilst investors eagerly anticipate the strategic review which the revised management team are formulating. In the meantime, the company's value offerings may find favour with an increasingly cost conscious consumer.

"The shares have tended to reflect the fact that this particular sector is traditionally fiercely competitive and the consumer notoriously fickle, losing 5% over the last three months, during which time the wider FTSE100 has gained 4%. The shares remain a buy in terms of market consensus, although this view could come under some pressure given the company's cautious outlook."

By 10:56 shares in Wm Morrison were down 1.76 per cent to 273.90 pence per share.