Sainsbury's revenue was down again in the second quarter of the grocer's final year, although the decline was less than the market had expected. Sales dropped by 1.1% on a like-for-like basis, which was 0.2 percentage points less than analysts had forecast. Like many other homegrown UK supermarkets, the grocer is struggling to keep up in a highly competitive market, which is dominated by the low prices offered by discount giants Aldi and Lidl.
Chief executive Mike Coupe said: "During the quarter we saw an improvement in our key trading metrics. Both volume and transactions grew as the decline in average basket spend in supermarkets continued to stabilise. Whilst the market is clearly still challenging, with food deflation impacting many categories, we are making good progress on delivering our strategy."
The company's management kept its profit guidance at £548m for the 2015 full year. Although this would mean profit will be down almost a fifth from the 2014 results, it will still be ahead of market expectation.
Coupe added that the company continues to work on reducing advertising and marketing spending in order to lower prices without hurting margins. However, this is the sixth consecutive quarter of decline reported by the grocer.
The company has been dedicated to cut prices, being named the cheapest UK supermarket in May 2015. Although the grocer has taken over from Asda as second biggest supermarket, right behind rival Tesco, it is still struggling against its German competitors.
Sainsbury's chief also underlined the supermarket's focus on its convenience stores. The division has been a gold mine for many supermarkets, especially those who focus on sales in busy cities.