J Sainsbury plc (LON: SBRY) said it generated sales of more than £100m on Christmas Eve.
The shares of J Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY) (NASDAQOTH: JSAIY.US) dipped 2p to 337p during early London trade this morning after the supermarket issued its Christmas trading statement.
Sainsbury's declared the week before Christmas had seen the company's strongest trading ever, with customer transactions exceeding 27 million.
The festive performance helped the retailer lift total turnover by 3.9% during the fourteen weeks to 5 January.
The FTSE 100 member said like-for-like sales had improved by 1.5% during the same period, which extended the group's run of consecutive quarters of like-for-like growth to 32.
However, the 1.5% like-for-like figure was less than the 1.7% the supermarket recorded during the preceding six months.
Justin King, the chief executive of Sainsbury's, said:
"This Christmas we have helped more customers than ever to Live Well for Less, delivering another quarter of good sales in a challenging retail environment, increasing market share. Like-for-like sales excluding fuel were up 0.9 per cent, which was on top of a very strong Christmas last year, giving a two-year like-for-like growth figure of 2.9 per cent."
Mr King added that particular best-sellers included clothing, up 10%, crockery, up 15%, and toasters, up 24%.
Prior to today, City experts were expecting the retailer's current-year earnings to increase by about 5% to almost 30p per share and the dividend to be lifted by a penny to 17.1p per share. Those projections place the shares on a P/E of 11 and yield of 5.1%.
Of course, whether today's Christmas update, that share-price valuation and the general outlook for the supermarket sector make Sainsbury's a 'buy' remains your decision.
But if Sainsbury's is your type of stock, this special free report may be just what you need to help you invest this year. You see, the report covers the defensive sectors the City's best-known income investor -- Neil Woodford -- is relying for 2013.
To learn more about the large-cap names Neil Woodford favours this year -- and to discover the investing logic behind his selections -- just click here.
> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.