Sainsbury’s has booked an increase in first-half sales driven by own label growth and the roll out of its convenience stores.

Like-for-like sales excluding fuel in the 16 weeks to 29 September were up 1.7%, the UK retailer reported this morning (3 October).

Total sales, which includes income from shops that had not been opened by this time last year, were up over the same period by 4%, or 4.1% excluding fuel.

Chief executive Justin King said Sainsbury’s had outperformed the market during a “unique and special summer” and a period of “unseasonal weather”.

The retailer said own label penetration is “increasing at a faster rate than any of the major supermarkets”.

Sainsbury’s opened 49 convenience stores in the first-half, reaching its target of one to two per week.

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The group’s online business, it said, “continues to perform strongly” with growth of over 20% year-on-year.

In the second quarter, like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, climbed 1.9%, while total sales were up 4.4%.

Sainsbury’s share price rose 1.9% to 348 pence at 09:20 BST.