Sainsbury’s has seen like-for-like sales growth of 1.4%, excluding fuel, for the first half of the year.

According to the supermarket’s Q2 trading statement for the 16 weeks to 28 September, Sainsbury’s also saw a 4% rise in total sales for the first half of the year.

The second quarter saw like-for-like sales increase by 2% excluding fuel, while total sales were up 4.6%, also excluding fuel.

Justin King, chief executive, said that own-brand goods were growing particularly strongly, and its grocery business, which grew 15% in the quarter, was now worth over £1bn in annual sales.

He said: “We have delivered strong sales over the quarter, continuing to outperform the market in what remains a tough retail environment. We are the only major supermarket to be growing market share. This comes during a quarter in which we also lapped some of our strongest performance during the Paralympic Games last year. 

“Our own-brand offer continues to grow at over twice the rate of branded goods, with Taste the Difference growing particularly strongly and by Sainsbury’s performing well following its relaunch.

“Our groceries online business grew by over 15% in the quarter and is now worth over £1bn in annual sales. Our convenience business grew 20% year-on-year as customers topped up more frequently during the warm summer weather.”

Over the quarter Sainsbury’s opened 31 convenience stores and five supermarkets, adding 307,000 square feet to the estate. King added that the supermarket was on track to deliver its target of “around one million square feet for the year”, and that the brand is “ideally placed to perform well coming into the key Christmas period”.