LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) - British supermarket group Sainsbury’s reported a third consecutive quarter of declining underlying sales, particularly hurt by weak clothing and general merchandise markets.
The group, which had its 7.3 billion pound ($9.2 billion)takeover of rival Asda blocked by the UK competition regulator in April, said on Wednesday its like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, fell 1.6% in the 16 weeks to June 29, its fiscal first quarter.
The outcome compares with analysts’ forecasts in a range of down 1.1% to down 2% and a fall of 0.9% in the previous quarter.
“Retail markets remain highly competitive and promotional and the consumer outlook continues to be uncertain,” Sainsbury’s said.
Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton