Sainsbury’s hailed a “solid” start to the year as it grew sales in the face of tough year-on-year comparables and a weak consumer environment.

Total sales at the UK supermarket group were up 3.3%, excluding fuel, while like-for-like sales rose 0.8% in the three months to 8 June. Sales gains were led by the performance of own label lines: By Sainsbury’s rose almost 7% and Taste the Difference was up 10%. The group also saw expansion in non-food.

“This has been a solid performance in what continues to be a tough consumer environment. During the quarter we lapped some of our strongest performance of last year, culminating in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and have extended our track record to 34 quarters of like-for-like growth,” CEO Justin King said.

King emphasised that Sainsbury’s is outperforming its rivals and is the “only major grocer growing market share”. During the period, Sainsbury’s grew its share of the total UK grocery market by 0.2% to 16.8% of sales.

Click here for a round up of what retail analysts said about Sainsbury’s trading update and click here for coverage of the retailer’s conference call with the media.