Sainsbury’s has reported that like-for-like sales has slowed in its second quarter and the grocer said it expects a further slow down in the coming months.

For the 16 weeks to October 3, the grocer reported like-for-like sales up 4.6% excluding petrol. In the previous quarter, like-for-like sales were up 7%.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King said: “Our performance in the first half continues to show good progress as we also invest for the future. While we expect market growth to slow in the coming months due to reduced inflation, the universal appeal of our focus on quality and value leaves us well positioned going forward.”

Sainsbury’s also reported total sales for the second quarter up 6.8% excluding petrol. Like-for-like sales excluding petrol and VAT were up 5.4%. Weekly transactions are now over 18.5 million, up 800,000 year on year.

King said non-food ranges are “performing well and growing at nearly three times the rate of food”.

He added: “In July we launched our non-food offer online and we are pleased with the early progress this new customer channel has achieved. Our online food home delivery service saw sales growth of 20%. During the quarter we opened 12 convenience stores, bringing the total opened in the first half of the year to 19, and we are on track to achieve our target to open 50 additional convenience stores this year.”

In June, Sainsbury’s raised £432m via a placing of ordinary shares and an issue of convertible bonds to grow the business. King said the grocer is “on track to grow space by 15% in the two years to March 2011”.