UK-based Morrisons has reported a 0.9% decline in sales for the six week Christmas period that ended 30 December 2012 as compared to the figures for the corresponding period in 2011.

The retailer’s like for like sales were down 2.5% as consumers preferred to hunt for bargains and promotional sales over the festive period.

Morrisons admitted that it needed better promotion packages to improve sales going into 2013.

The company termed the figures disappointing despite the sluggish demand and difficult market conditions in the UK.

"Notwithstanding these difficult market conditions, which we expect to continue through 2013, our sales performance in the period was disappointing.

"This reflects both the need to improve our promotional innovation and the communication of our points of difference, as we highlighted in November, and the accelerating importance of other channels, such as online and convenience, which Morrisons has only recently entered," said Morrisons in a statement.

Morrisons CEO Dalton Philips added, "In a difficult market our sales performance was lower than anticipated, but we have a strong business and significant opportunities to advance our strategy, as we accelerate our multi-channel offer."

The retailer admitted that an increasing number of consumers were purchasing online and that it needed to improve its offerings on that channel.