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Sainsbury’s sales impress analysts

Sainsbury’s sales rose 2.3 per cent in the first quarter, surprising analysts.

In the 16 weeks to July 1, the UK grocer outperformed expectations of about 2 per cent and far exceeded the 0.3 per cent growth posted in the previous quarter.

The growth has been attributed to new product lines and price controls, with the grocery category jumping 2.7 per cent and apparel by 7 per cent. Sainsbury’s introduced 430 new and improved products, including 250 summer lines launched during the last three months.

The company opened 10 convenience stores and one new supermarket during the quarter.

“We have delivered a strong performance, driven by our differentiated strategy, offering customers quality, value and choice across food, general merchandise, clothing and financial services,” said CEO Mike Coupe.

“Grocery sales are up three per cent and transactions up two per cent, with like-for-like transaction growth in all channels.

“Our produce category, where we know quality matters most to customers, performed particularly well, outperforming the market with volume growth of over one per cent.”

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