Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King has said there is “no sign yet that the level of promotions have tailed off” across the big four grocers.

King said the level of promotional activity - which last year was running at an average of 30% - has been sustained this year and are “largely driven by suppliers”.

King’s comments come after rival Asda’s chief executive Andy Bond vowed last month not to be so promotional and instead focus on its Every Day Low Price strategy.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, the level of sales of products on promotion for the 12 weeks to February 21 for the big four grocers stood at 33.2%. Last year it was 29.2%.

Sainsbury’s reported like-for-like sales in the 11 weeks to March 20, excluding petrol, were up 1.7%. Total sales excluding petrol were up 4.4%. Like-for-likes for the full year were up 4.3%, excluding fuel.

Sales growth has slowed since last year, hit by a drop in food price inflation. King also said non-food has performed well, and grew at three times the rate of food over the period.

In the previous quarter non-food grew at four times the rate of food, but the grocer said it expected it to fall back to a more normal rate of two to three times.