Sainsbury is making “great progress” in its recovery and could overtake Asda as the number two supermarket group within a couple of months, Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury has said.

“I think we are genuinely making good progress. The reason I can be confident about it is because that is what our customers tell us.

They say we have moved forward on the things that were a real problem, especially availability,” King said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

King added that Sainsbury could regain its crown as the number two supermarket within the next couple of months.

“There are a few of us here that are ex-Asda and I’d be lying if I denied we won’t have a bit of a wry smile when that happens,” he said.

He also revealed that Sainsbury was aiming to generate up to two percentage points of sales growth a year from new stores.

“Our head is firmly above the trench. We’re talking to landlords, we’re talking to local councils,” he added.