Fall in sales reported by Sainsbury’s

<p>Sainsbury’s stocks are down on the back of its latest sales data.</p>

The share price of Sainsbury's has fallen in the early stages of trading this morning (March 18th) on the back of the supermarket company's latest sales data.

Figures released by the firm show that in the ten weeks to March 15th, its like-for-like sales, which take away any trading at new stores, fell 3.1 per cent excluding fuel.

Falling food prices and a period of bad weather across the UK were among the reasons cited by the company for its dropping sales over the course of the ten-week period.

Chief executive of Sainsbury's Justin King pointed out that the company reported growth in like-for-like sales for 36 consecutive quarters before these new financial results.

"Of course it's disappointing, but it has to be put in context," Mr King told the BBC, adding Sainsbury's has also been able to maintain a 17 per cent market share in the last quarter.

He added: "Although some economic indicators are showing an improvement in the health of the economy, we expect the outlook for customers to continue to be challenging for the coming year."

Economic recovery

The UK's economy has been steadily recovering from the global financial crash and the long recession this caused, with consumers careful about how they spend their money as a result.

Sainsbury's rival supermarket chain Morrisons recently saw its share price lose more than ten per cent in just a few hours after it revealed its full financial results for 2013, which showed the company being slow to embrace online sales has cost it.

General merchandise and clothing were among the sectors Sainsbury's singled out as having performed well for the quarter, with menswear sales up 23 per cent year-on-year.

But the share price of the company was down by one per cent this morning on the back of the fall in its sales. By 08:30 GMT, stocks were one per cent lower compared to the start of the session and were still falling steadily.

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