UK supermarket group Somerfield has said group like-for-like sales slid 0.4% in the 53 weeks to 30 April 2005.

Like-for-like sales at its Somerfield fascia slid 0.1%, while those at Kwik Save fell 1.0%. In the second-half, group like-for-like sales were down 1.5%, with Kwik Save like-for-like sales falling 2.2% and those at Somerfield sliding 1.2%.

The company, which has been the subject of takeover speculation in recent weeks, said sales in the second half came under pressure from the slowdown in consumer spending, the increasingly competitive trading environment and the impact on store trading of its portfolio transformation activity. The company is in the process of transforming many of its Kwik Save stores to the Somerfield fascia.

"Although trading conditions remain challenging, I am pleased with the group's progress as we continue to implement our strategic plan, whilst still delivering a satisfactory overall trading result from an enlarged store portfolio. The significant portfolio realignment and expansion through the conversion programme, the Safeway Compact Stores acquisition and the recently announced petrol forecourt convenience store acquisitions from Texaco Limited and Fuelforce Ltd have strengthened the group and will further increase our market penetration," said chief executive Steve Back.