The keenly awaited trading update for supermarket group Sainsbury proved a bit anti-climactic with like-for-like (LFL) sales growth below expectations.
LFL sales in the 12 weeks to June 9th were up 1.4% on the corresponding period of last year, below market expectations of growth of between 1.6% and 2.0%.
Total sales for what is the first quarter of the supermarket chain's first quarter were up 3.6% year-on-year, or 3.8% excluding fuel.
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Growth may have disappointed some analysts but it knocked Tesco's figures into a cocked hat; on Monday, Tesco had announced a 1.5% LFL decline in sales (excluding VAT and petrol).
"Customers continued the habit of savvy shopping to save money in order to be able to treat themselves on special occasions, shown by strong sales in the lead up to the Jubilee celebrations," said Justin King, Sainsbury's Chief Executive.
"Just as in 2011, the quarter was characterised by five bank holidays, a royal event and periods of unseasonal weather. Consistent performance year-on-year puts our two year like-for-like sales growth at 3.3 per cent," King said.
More to follow ...
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