Sainsbury‘s said today (13 June) it was still performing better than its UK retail rivals after it reported an increase in first-quarter underlying sales.
The UK’s third-largest retailer saw like-for-like sales, excluding fuel but including VAT, rise 1.4% in the 12 weeks to 9 June.
On Monday, Tesco reported a 1.5% decline in like-for-like sales, excluding both fuel and VAT, for the 13 weeks to 26 May.
Unlike Sainsbury’s numbers, Tesco’s figures did not include any sales made over the Diamond Jubilee weekend at the start of the month.
Nevertheless, Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King said the retailer enjoyed “good sales growth”. He added: “Over the quarter we maintained our outperformance of the market.”
Total sales increased 3.6%, or by 3.8% excluding fuel. Sainsbury’s said sales from its convenience stores were up 16%, while sales from its online business increased by over 20%.
Shares in Sainsbury’s, however, fell in early trading this morning. At 09:58 BST, Sainsbury’s shares were 283.8p, down 2.51%.
The retailer’s sales growth missed the consensus forecasts among analysts, who predicted a 1.9% increase in like-for-like sales.
However, Shore Capital analyst Clive Black said Sainsbury’s results were in line with his forecasts, which estimated a 1-1.5% increase in LFL sales.
“Widely canvassed market forecasts of 2%+ were deemed too high in our view given the weakness of April trade and so this does not represent a miss to our minds,” Black wrote in a note to investors.
Click here for the full statement from Sainsbury’s and check back later for coverage of the retailer’s media call.