• Christmas trading period "tough" says CEO
  • LFL group sales at 0.2% for Q3
  • Groceries online sees 10% growth during quarter
  • Christmas food ordering service up 24%

Sainsbury's saw its sales growth slow in its third quarter as a "very tough" October and November weighed on its results.

In the 14 weeks to 4 January, the UK supermarket retailer booked total like-for-like sales growth of 0.2%.

CEO Justin King said the quarter had been characterised by a "very tough" sales environment throughout October and November, with customers saving up in order to treat their families over the Christmas period.

Nonetheless, the grocer recorded total sales growth of 2.5% (inc. fuel) for the period, with 28m customer transactions in the seven day run up to Christmas.

"Monday 23rd December was the busiest day and saw our biggest trading hour, with customers spending nearly GBP17m," King said. "Also on the 23rd, Stanway in Essex was our first ever store to take GBP1m in sales in one day." 

The supermarket reported an increase of 10% in the number of Taste the Difference products sold with over 100,000 Taste the Difference fresh turkeys and turkey crowns sold.

Its Christmas food ordering service was up 24% year-on-year and groceries online saw a growth of over 10% during Q3.

Rival Asda yesterday reported "a good performance" during what it also described as a "very tough" Christmas trading period. Tesco is set to issues its trading figures tomorrow.