Sainsbury’s reported a 0.4 percent drop in sales over the Christmas period, a better-than-expected figure in a tough market.

Sales in the week before Christmas were up 2.6 percent, at £30 million. In a statement, Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coup confirmed the sales were an improvement on the last two quarters and was optimistic looking forward to 2016.

“We have traded well during the festive period in a highly competitive market. Our stores delivered excellent levels of service and availability and we launched several new seasonal products and range improvements. As a result we have seen our market share grow in the quarter”, he said.

However, he continued, warning that “food deflation and pressures on pricing will ensure that the market remains challenging for the foreseeable future”. The figures don’t seem to have impressed investors, with Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY) shares falling over 2 percent in early morning trade.

Sainsbury’s are the second of the Big Four supermarkets to release Christmas trading figures, which have been highly anticipated by investors given the tough market conditions for supermarkets. Morrisons shares shot up on Tuesday, as positive sales over the festive period show the future may be looking up for the troubled group.

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