Sainsbury’s has released its first quarter trading statement for the 16 weeks to 30th June, which shows a rise of 0.5% in comparison to 3% in the same period a year ago.

Results also show like-for-like sales rising at 0.2% in comparison to last year’s 2.3%.

Sainsbury’s has said it continues to invest in its food quality and completed 51 range reviews, covering 27% of Grocery sales.

Sainsbury’s has also invested £150 million to lower prices, which has said to improve its price position across key categories.

The launch of its first baby food range with ‘Little Ones’ baby food, has already captured almost 15% of its baby food sales.

Same day groceries online delivery is now said to be available from 171 stores, covering 57% of UK households.

Mike Coupe, group chief executive of J Sainsbury plc, said: “I am pleased with our progress in the quarter. Our price position has improved and customers have responded well, resulting in a continuation of the improved volume trend we saw in the second half of last financial year.

“We are transforming our business to meet the changing needs of our customers. We have made fundamental changes to the way we run Sainsbury’s stores.

“The market remains competitive. However, we have the right strategy in place and our proposal to combine Sainsbury’s and Asda will create a dynamic new player in UK retail, with the scale to give customers more of what they want today and create a more resilient and adaptable business for the future.

Following the news that Sainsbury’s sales growth slows, Paul Harvey, head of grocery at retail consultancy Newton has commented:

“Although Sainsbury’s growth has slowed when compared to the previous quarter, their 0.2% like-for-like sales growth was still above analysists’ average predictions of a 0.1% fall.

“These continued positive results are partly down to Sainsbury’s working to improve its core service offering.

“Sainsbury’s cited that they wish to become 10% more competitive on price as a result of the Asda merger and in order to deliver this, multiple areas of the supply chain will be reviewed.”