Sainsbury’s has revealed its convenience store and online channels have helped to achieve a 4.3% increase in total sales in the last year.

Revealed as part of its fourth quarter trading statement, for the 10 weeks to 16 March, the supermarket business saw like-for-like (LFL) sales increase by 3.6% and total sales experience a 6.3% lift, both excluding fuel. For the full year, LFLs rose by 1.8% while total sales rise by 4.3%, both excluding fuel.

Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “We have delivered strong sales in the fourth quarter, increasing market share and outperforming in what remains a tough retail environment. Over the quarter, we grew customer transactions to 22.9 million per week, serving more customers than ever. Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day were both particularly strong this year, and we closed the quarter with a very successful Red Nose Day, presenting a record cheque for £10.5m on behalf of customers and colleagues.”

Sainsbury’s convenience store business, Sainsbury’s Local, also saw a positive growth rate of 18% year-on-year (YOY), which the firm said was driven by a combination of new space and LFL sales growth. Its online channel helped to increase sales by almost 20% YOY

King added that the Sainsbury’s own-brand range of products, called By Sainsbury’s, performed well, experiencing a 9% YOY growth. Weekly customer transactions also increased by more than 800,000 YOY, which the company said was despite the heavy snow experienced during the 16-week trading period.

During the 16 weeks, Sainsbury’s opened three new supermarkets and 19 new convenience stores, which added to the overall year total of store openings of 14 supermarkets and 87 convenience stores. The firm said this was approximately a 5% increase in space in line with its target.

Looking ahead, King said: “We expect the challenging economic environment to continue through the coming year. By helping our customers to Live Well for Less through our ongoing commitment to great quality own-brand products, Brand Match, competitive pricing and targeted promotions via Nectar and coupon-at-till, we are well positioned to continue to outperform the market.”