Sainsbury's reports first fall in sales for nine years

Sainsbury’s has reported a fall in like-for-like sales growth for the first time in nine years.

Like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter dropped 3.1% excluding fuel and a decline in total sales of 1.5%.

The supermarket chain blamed a fall in food prices, the later timing of Easter and unseasonable weather for the decline in sales. It also said the market is now growing at its slowest rate since 2005.

Justin King, chief executive, said: “We have seen a decline in sales in the quarter reflecting tough comparatives. This time last year our sales benefited significantly from the discovery of horsemeat in some branded and competitors’ products.”

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