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Sainsbury Second-Quarter Sales Gain on Brand Match Vouchers

J Sainsbury Plc, the U.K.’s third-largest supermarket company, said second-quarter sales rose, extending an unbroken growth record stretching back to 2005 as it steps up price competition with larger competitor Tesco Plc.

Sales at stores open at least a year climbed 1.9 percent, excluding gasoline, in the 16 weeks ended Sept. 29, London-based Sainsbury said in a statement. That beat the 1.3 percent median estimate of 10 analysts compiled by Bloomberg and compares with the previous quarter’s 1.4 percent gain.

Sainsbury is reaching a wider audience through its Brand Match price campaign, which offers shoppers a coupon if the same product is available for less at Tesco or Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Asda. Supermarkets have maintained the level of promotions at 35 percent of sales in the last four weeks, according to market researcher Nielsen.

“This has been a unique and special summer, during which we have delivered another quarter of good sales,” Sainsbury Chief Executive Officer Justin King said in the statement. “We are positioned to perform well coming into the important Christmas period.”

Sainsbury rose 0.3 percent to 346.8 pence in London trading yesterday, extending the stock’s gain this year to 14 percent. Tesco shares have fallen 17 percent in the year to date.

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