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LONDON - J Sainsbury, the UK's second largest supermarket operator, today claimed to be taking share from its rival Tesco for the first time in six years, as it announced like-for-like sales up by 6.4 percent for the third quarter, The Financial Times reports.
"We stopped losing share [to Tesco] and started to put on share during October and November," Chief Executive Sir Peter Davis said.
Sainsbury's total sales were up by 7.4 percent for the 12 weeks to Jan. 5. Over the Christmas and New Year trading period, it achieved record sales with like-for-likes, up 6.8 percent for the 6 weeks to Jan. 5.
Sales at Shaw's, Sainsbury's US operation, were up 6.7 percent, while like-for-like sales grew by 1.6 percent for the third quarter.
"Shaw's produced good growth over the Thanksgiving period, but along with the rest of the sector experienced softer trading conditions and unseasonably mild weather in the Northeast over the Christmas period," Davis said.
Sainsbury's is just over a third of the way through a three-year recovery program, The Financial Times reports. In November, the company announced an 18 percent drop in interim pre-tax profits, hit by the costs of turning the underperforming group around.