'Horsemeat Free' Sainsbury's Sees Sales Boost
Sainsbury's has reported a rise in sales over recent months - due in part to avoiding the horsemeat scandal.
The supermarket - which says no traces of horsemeat have been found in its products - reported a 3.6% rise in like-for-like sales excluding fuel over the 10 weeks to March 16.
Its market share also increased during the period, as food inspectors identified horsemeat in products sold by rivals including Tesco, Iceland and Lidl.
Chief executive Justin King told Sky News: "Our sales have accelerated in the last couple of months.
"I think most customers are quite aware that a good number of retailers have not had horsemeat in their food and they're been rewarded with some extra business."
But Mr King added that he feels a sense of "there, but for the grace of God" as the food contamination scandal continues.
The supermarket has been DNA testing its products for over 10 years, Mr King said, and uses only UK and Irish sourced beef in its products.
"So there are good reasons why we've avoided the scandal," he said.
But he added: "I think you have to be open minded to the possibility that it could still happen.
"We've put all the checks and balances in place - have done for a long time and of course we've dialled them up now we're aware there is this problem."
Sainsbury's, Britain's third largest supermarket chain, reported a 1.8% increase in like-for-like sales over the year excluding fuel.
Its results were helped by a strong performance online - where sales were up almost 20% year-on-year - and by its convenience store business, which grew at over 18%.
Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said the supermarket's market share increased to 17% in the 12 weeks to February 17 from 16.9% a year earlier.