LONDON, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Sainsbury’s, Britain’s No. 2 supermarket group that has agreed to take over No. 3 Asda , reported a worse-than-expected fall in underlying sales in the key Christmas quarter.
The group said on Wednesday like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, fell 1.1 percent in the 15 weeks to Jan. 5, its fiscal third quarter. That compares with analysts’ average forecast of a 0.2 percent fall and a second quarter rise of 1.0 percent.
Sainsbury’s cautioned that its markets are highly competitive and very promotional and the consumer outlook continued to be uncertain. (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)