J Sainsbury, Britain's third-biggest grocer, met forecasts with a pick-up in quarterly sales driven by growth at local convenience stores and online, outperforming rivals including market leader Tesco.
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The group, which trails Tesco and No. 2 player Wal-Mart's Asda by annual revenue, said on Wednesday sales at stores open over a year rose 2.0 percent, excluding fuel, in the 16 weeks to Sept. 28, its fiscal second quarter.
The outcome, a 35th consecutive quarter of underlying sales growth, compares with analysts' forecasts of a rise of 1.5-2.8 percent and first quarter growth of 0.8 percent.
Sainsbury's performance was ahead of flat second quarter UK like-for-like sales at Tesco.