Britain's fourth-largest supermarket chain Safeway today [Tuesday] posted a 4.1% growth in its like-for-like Q3 sales, but its performance during the Christmas trading period lagged sector rivals. Sales growth for the first 12 weeks of Safeway's second half, ended 5 January, was at the lower end of analyst expectations of 4-5% growth. Third quarter like-for-like volume growth meanwhile accelerated to 5.4% from 4.3% in the second quarter, after disinflation of 1.3%, according to a statement by the chain.