King revealed that improved availability in-store had contributed to a 1.3% increase in like-for-like sales excluding petrol and a 5.3% increase in total sales excluding petrol for the 12 weeks to June 18.
It is the first time in two years that Sainsbury has been able to report sales growth for two consecutive quarters.
Better availability meant that customers visiting Sainsbury for the bulk of their grocery shopping were also returning for their top-up shops, he added. King also said that prices had fallen throughout the store, citing figures from The Grocer 33 which revealed that prices were 2.5% cheaper than last year (The Grocer, June 11, p18).
However, he refused to say how the price cuts would affect profit, which was revealed last month as £15m for the year to March 26, down from £610m the year before.
King also dismissed reports that French grocery chain Carrefour was in discussions with Sainsbury over a possible merger. “The first I heard of it was on the wires and in the newspapers,” he said.