Sainsburys Reports Tesco-Beating Q2 Sales Growth

Sainsbury’s has revealed that sales, excluding fuel and VAT, at its stores rose by 5.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2009, down from the 7.8 per cent growth achieved in the first quarter.
The supermarket chain said total sales, excluding fuel, for the three months to October 3 grew 6.8 per cent, compared with 7.6 per cent the previous quarter.
Commenting on the figures, Sainsburys chief executive Justin King said the company is continuing to perform well in “what remains a challenging consumer environment”.
“While we expect market growth to slow in the coming months due to reduced inflation, the universal appeal of our focus on quality and value leaves us well positioned going forward,” he added.
The figures come just a day after rival chain Tesco reported that like-for-like sales over the three months to August 29 rose by 3.1 per cent.
On Tuesday, the UK’s largest retailer announced total UK sales including petrol and VAT rose 2.8 per cent to £20.7 billion in the six months to the end of August, with half year pre-tax profits up 1.5 per cent to £1.4 billion.
Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said the supermarket was successfully tackling “the challenges of recession” and added that it was now growing at a faster rate than its main competitors.
However, Sainsbury’s chief Justin King has disputed the claims, calling them a “throw-away remark about figures that are industry confidential”.
“Our figures are bang up to date, right up to Saturday,” he insisted. “They are significantly better than Tesco reported for a period which overlaps very largely with that.”
King added that Sainsbury’s now makes over 18.5 million transactions a week, over 800,000 more than the same time last year.