By Jonathan Davies

Sainsbury's has reported another fall in sales, its sixth in a row.

The supermarket said like-for-like sales, which exclude new stores, fell 2.1% in the 12 weeks to 6 June. However, that fall was slightly above expectations.

Having recently opened its 300th store, including fuel, Sainsbury's saw sales drop 3.7%.

Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe said it was a "highly competitive" market as a result of "strong levels of food deflation".

Mr Coupe's comments suggest that Sainsbury's is not suffering from customers going elsewhere, but the continued effects of the supermarket price war. He said that sales volumes and transactions - the number of purchases, not the money made - are growing. But Sainsbury's commitment to cutting prices is hurting monetary sales growth.

The latest figures come after the supermarket last month reported its first full-year loss in a decade.

Bryan Roberts, an analyst at Kantor Retail, said: "On the face of it, a sixth consecutive quarter of declining like-for-likes is an obvious disappointment, indicative of the fact that Sainsbury's immunity to the discount menace is well and truly over.

"With Morrisons back on the front foot and Tesco and Asda continuing to spar on pricing, things certainly won't be getting any easier.

"However, the retailer has made some courageous moves on range, stores and promotion and we continue to assert that the Sainsbury's cloud has more silver lining than some."