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J Sainsbury   Like-for-like sales excluding fuel fell 2.1%

J Sainsbury's sales down sixth quarter in a row

J SainsburyJ Sainsbury saw sales drop for the sixth straight quarter in what it says is a "highly competitive" market.

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Like-for-like sales excluding fuel fell 2.1% in the 12 weeks to 6 June, slightly better than expectations. Including fuel, sales fell 3.7%. Sainsbury's recently opened its 300th petrol station.

Chief executive officer Mike Coupe said trading conditions were also "being impacted by strong levels of food deflation". The firm said volume and transactions continued to grow, while it also remained committed to delivering its cost savings programme.

Last month the grocer reported its first full-year loss for 10 years as competition within the UK grocery market continued, and warned the outlook for the rest of the financial year would "remain challenging". Those results were hit by a number of one-off costs, including a write-down in the value of some of its stores.

Sainsbury's is the UK's third largest supermarket chain by annual revenue, after Tesco and Wal-Mart-owned Asda.

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