Sainsbury’s has reported a 3.6% rise in sales over the past three months, driven by strong growth in convenience.

The grocery multiple opened 19 convenience stores in the first quarter and refurbished 13, with the category delivering nearly 20% growth year on year, said chief executive Justin King.

“We are on track to deliver around two new [convenience] stores per week for the year,” he added.

Sainsbury’s extended its track record to 34 quarters of like-for-like growth (0.7%) and is the only major grocer growing market share, which is up 0.2% to 16.8%, he said.

It opened one new supermarket in the 12 weeks to June 8 and refurbished a further six. In total it added nearly 82,000sq ft to its estate.

“This has been a solid performance in what continues to be a tough consumer environment. During the quarter we lapped some of our strongest performance of last year, culminating in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee,” King said.

He added that he expected the challenging economic environment to continue through this financial year, but Sainsbury’s was “well positioned to continue to outperform the market”.