Sainsbury's Christmas sales hit record

Justin King, Sainsbury's chief executive, says shoppers bought "the best they could afford" over Christmas

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Supermarket group Sainsbury's has reported another "record-breaking" Christmas as sales rose modestly on last year.

Excluding petrol, like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of sales from new stores, rose by 2.1% in the 14 weeks to 8 January from a year earlier.

The UK's third-largest supermarket chain said non-food and local store sales had grown particularly strongly.

Sainsbury's also said it had added 21 new "local" stores during the period.

Olympics

The retailer reported a strong rise in its online trading with sales rising 20%.

"This was a strong quarter, rounded off by our best Christmas ever, despite the economic backdrop," said Justin King, Sainsbury's chief executive.

"Key events later in the year, such as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, provide opportunities for growth," he added.

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