Sainsbury has recorded its fifth consecutive quarter of growth, with like-for-like sales up 5.3% excluding petrol.

In a trading statement released this morning Sainsbury said that like-for-like sales including petrol for the period were 5.7%.

Total sales for the quarter were up 6.7%, or 6.5% excluding petrol.

Sainsbury added that more than 16 million customers were visiting its stores each week - an increase of one million in the last six months.

During the quarter the retailer also opened three new supermarkets, extended one and refurbished 12. It also opened nine convenience stores and refurbished 22.

Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury, said: “We have delivered a solid first year and are on track in our Making Sainsbury's Great Again plan but still have a long way to go. “

He added: “The sales growth announced today shows that customers are noticing the many improvements we have been making to our business.”