LONDON, March 19 J Sainsbury, Britain's
third-largest supermarket chain, beat forecasts for underlying
sales in its fourth quarter, helped by growth online and in
The group, which trails market leader Tesco and no.
2 player Wal-Mart's Asda by annual revenue, said on
Tuesday sales at stores open over a year rose 3.6 percent,
excluding fuel, in the 10 weeks to March 16.
That was a 33rd consecutive quarter of underlying sales
growth and compared to analysts' average forecast of a rise of
2.3 percent, and growth of 0.9 percent in the third quarter.
Total fourth quarter sales rose 6.3 percent, excluding fuel.
Sainsbury's said it was well positioned to continue to
outperform the market in the current year even though it
expected the retail environment to remain tough.