Sainsbury's saw its shares tank to lowest level since 2003
Sainsbury’s reports a second straight quarterly drop in sales as Justin King prepares to depart. (Reuters) Reuters

British supermarket Sainsbury's has posted falling sales for a second consecutive quarter as CEO Justin King begins to vacate his throne after 10 years at the helm.

For the 12 weeks up until 7 June, like for like sales growth excluding fuel was down by 1.1%. Taking fuel into consideration for the results, like for like sales were down by 2.4% in comparison with the previous year.

"Throughout the quarter we have continued to invest in reducing prices and improving quality, increasing the value of our offer," said the outgoing Justin King.

"Lower food price inflation and reduced fuel prices are a welcome respite to customers' finances but they continue to spend cautiously, leading to industry growth in the quarter being the slowest in a decade."

Despite the second straight quarter of falling sales, Sainsbury's shares were up by over 2% in early trading to over 330p per share.

Since March's poor results, which saw share value plummet, Sainsbury's stocks have been rising fairly consistently, aside from a minor blip at the end of May, as the brand prepare for a new era under the leadership of current commercial director Michael Coupe, who will succeed King on 9 July.

March saw Sainsbury's post its first drop in sales for almost a decade which has left a slight blemish on King's impeccable record following nine years of strong sales for the brand.

However, investors will be hoping that inbound Coupe will be able to put a halt to falling sales before it becomes a serious issue for the brand, much like it has with its major rival Tesco.

However, echoing Tesco boss Philip Clarke, who said that he expected trading to remain a challenge for the upcoming quarters, King said that "we expect customer spending to remain cautious," as the industry battles with discount stores such as Aldi and Lidl.