Sainsbury's has reported a 5.1% increase in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, for the first quarter, marking the retailer's tenth consecutive quarter of growth.

Total sales for the 12 weeks to 16 June rose 6.7% excluding fuel, the supermarket chain said in a trading update.

“This is particularly pleasing as the quarter included some very tough comparatives in the final few weeks driven by the football World Cup and the very warm weather last June,” said CEO Justin King.

Sales growth was boosted by Sainsbury's food offer, with growth in both organic and Fairtrade products, King added. Non-food sales were in line with expectations.

However, King added to warnings from Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy yesterday that the operating environment would “remain competitive”.

Shares in Tesco fell 22.25p to finish on 434.5p yesterday after the retailer reported lower than expected like-for-like sales growth of 4.7% for the first quarter.

Analysts had expected sales growth closer to 5.2%. “Tesco disappointing the market is unusual,” said David McCarthy, an analyst at Citigroup. “These figures are not disastrous, just disappointing by Tesco's high standards.”