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Sainsbury's defies economic gloom

Sales at Sainsbury's grew by 5.3% excluding fuel for the 16 weeks to October 4, while like-for-likes rose 4.3% during the quarter.

Sainsbury's like-for-like sales for the first half were up 3.9% excluding fuel, with non-food performing well.

Chief executive Justin King said: "Our non-food ranges continue to drive strong sales growth. We now have nine flagship non-foods stores and a wide range of Tu home and Tu clothing."

King warned that the economic conditions remain tough but is confident about Christmas trading. He said: "The economic environment remains particularly challenging and we expect this to continue throughout the second half but we have developed the Sainsbury's offer to perform in these conditions."

He added: "Sainsbury's is a robust business with a wide customer base and universal appeal and we are well positioned as we approach the important Christmas trading period."

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