Sainsbury's has said "Easter, the royal wedding and the glorious weather in April" helped it put in a "solid sales performance" during the last three months.   

The company released its first quarter results in a trading statement this morning, revealing a 4.3 per cent year-on-year increase in total sales, excluding fuel, in the 12 weeks to June 11. Like-for-like sales during the period increased by 1.9 per cent, again excluding fuel.

The results mean Sainsbury's outperformed rival supermarket Tesco, which released first quarter results yesterday. Tesco managed to increase total UK like-for-like sales by 1 per cent, excluding fuel, during the first three months.

Justin King, Sainsbury's chief executive, said: "We've delivered a solid sales performance, in line with our expectations, in spite of the continued tough consumer environment."

The company said the market environment remains "very competitive". However, its strength in "supporting family occasions" and use of poster holders and window displays to promote the royal wedding helped it sell nearly 300 miles of bunting, 159,000 flags and 49,000 mugs.