Morrisons has announced plans to close 10 loss-making supermarkets and the departure of chief executive Dalton Philips, who is leaving after five years in the post.

The news comes a week after Tesco revealed its plans to close dozens of unprofitable sites. Morrisons’ latest results showed like-for-like sales fell 3.1%, excluding fuel, in the six weeks to 4 January.

Philips has agreed to stay until after the year-end results in March to ensure a ‘smooth transition process,’ the group said.

Andrew Higginson, deputy chairman, said: “I would like to thank Dalton for his contribution as CEO. He has brought great personal qualities and values to his leadership of the business, having had to manage against a background of considerable industry turmoil and change.”

Seventeen M local convenience stores were opened during the fourth quarter, bringing the total to 46 new stores this year. Morrisons said it served almost double the number of customers in its growing convenience store business this year, and a total of five million during the six weeks to 4 January.