Like for like sales at Sainsbury’s have dipped by 0.8% (excluding fuel) in the 12 weeks to 4 June.

However, total retail sales were up 0.3% in first quarter, with Sainsbury’s convenience business continuing to drive sales, with growth of over 6% in the quarter. Seven new convenience stores were opened while six were closed.

Chief executive Mike Coupe said Sainsbury’s had made a “solid start” to the year.

“Sainsbury’s is well-positioned. Our core food business offers customers choice, quality and a clear value proposition.

“Market conditions remain challenging. Food price deflation continues to impact our sales and pressures on pricing mean the market will remain competitive for the foreseeable future.

“However, we are confident that our strategy to be a trusted multi-channel, multi-product and services retailer is delivering and will enable us to continue to outperform our major peers,” he said.

At the end of the quarter, Sainsbury’s had 601 supermarkets and 744 convenience stores.