Like-for-likes up 5.1%
Grocer Sainsbury's has unveiled its 10th consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth, with like-for-likes up 5.1 per cent excluding fuel.

In the 12 weeks to June 16, sales rose 6.7 per cent, excluding fuel, driven by a strong food offer. The retailer said non-food sales have continued to grow in line with expectations.

Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King said: 'We have made a strong start to the third year of our Making Sainsbury's Great Again plan. This is particularly pleasing, because the quarter included some very tough comparatives in the final few weeks driven by the football World Cup and the very warm weather last June. Both of these factors also impact the quarter two comparatives.'

The retailer said that its ability to control stock levels and improve availability during an exceptionally warm April, followed by a very wet May, highlights improvements to its supply chain systems and store operations over the past couple of years.

King said: 'Customers value fresh, healthy and tasty products that have been sourced with integrity. These factors are of increasing importance to consumers today and we continue to see growth in sales of organic and fair trade products.'

The supermarket said the operating environment remains competitive and, as a result, has reduced prices on 4,500 products since April and invested more than£450 million since March 2005.

King added: 'As outlined at our preliminary results in May, the business is in a strong position to grow and we have set out plans for further sales and space growth. These provide Sainsbury's with substantial opportunity for further development of the business and value creation for our shareholders.'