By Marcus Leach

Food giants Sainsbury's have announced solid sales growth for the last three months, despite the current tough consumer environment.

They reported that like-for-like sales for first quarter were up 4.8%, with total sales for first quarter up 7.3%.

"We've delivered a solid sales performance, in line with our expectations, in spite of the continued tough consumer environment," Justin King, Chief Executive, said.

"Fuel price inflation combined with strong fuel volume growth resulted in an increase in total sales of 7.3 per cent, with like-for-like sales up 4.8 per cent. Excluding fuel, total sales were up 4.3 per cent, with like-for-like sales up 1.9 per cent.

"Despite the tough economic conditions our customers celebrated Easter, the Royal Wedding and the glorious weather in April, playing to our strength of supporting family occasions. We sold nearly 300 miles of bunting, 159,000 flags and 49,000 mugs. Hot cross bun sales increased 29 per cent and we sold the most champagne we have ever sold outside of Christmas."

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