UK-based supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has reported that its like-for-like (LFL) sales, excluding fuel, grew by 9.8% in the first quarter (Q1) of fiscal year (FY) 2023/24.

Including fuel, LFL sales grew by 3.9% during the quarter.

For the 16 weeks to 24 June 2023, total retail sales, excluding fuel, increased by 9.2%.

During the quarter, the supermarket chain posted strong performance, with sales up 11% while sales for clothing were down 3.7%.

Sales for general merchandise (GM) increased by 4%, driven by GM Argos, which reported 5.1% sales growth. However, GM Sainsbury’s dropped by 1.2% over the quarter.

Sainsbury chief executive Simon Roberts said: “We are putting all of our energy and focus into battling inflation so that customers get the very best prices when they shop with us, particularly now as household budgets are under more pressure than ever.

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“Food inflation is starting to fall and we are fully committed to passing on savings to our customers. Since March, we have invested over £60m ($76.2m) in lowering prices, leading on price cuts across more than 120 essentials like bread, butter, milk, pasta, chicken and toilet roll.

“Prices on our top 100 selling products are now lower than they were in March, against a market where prices have gone up. In addition, we’re offering great value through Stamford Street, our entry price range and through our biggest ever Aldi Price Match campaign. All of this is underpinned by the continued delivery of our cost saving programmes.”

For full-year FY23/24, Sainsbury’s expects underlying profit before tax to be between £640m and £700m.

It also expects to generate at least £500m of retail free cash flow over the FY.

Late last month, Sainsbury’s confirmed that it will invest £15m in cutting down the prices of household staples to help customers manage their budgets.