Sainsbury's has highlighted the strong performance of its supply chain after posting better-than-expected sales figures.

The supermarket managed to secure a larger market share in the ten weeks up to March 16th thanks to a 3.6 per cent increase in terms of like-for-like sales. The retailer stated that no horsemeat was found in any of its products during the quarter which has helped it to significantly boost its revenues. Officials explained that the average number of weekly transactions had also improved to a record 22.9 million.

Sainsbury's has been extensively testing all of its items to check for horse DNA and has been sourcing fresh beef from the UK and Ireland for the past ten years. The recent assessments checked over 300 products and found there to be no horsemeat in the food stuffs.

Justin King, chief executive of the company, explained that the supermarket's success has been down to a transparent supply chain free from complications. A number of other retailers were at the heart of the horsemeat scandal with the likes of Tesco and Ikea having to withdraw products from sale. In one case, a beef lasagne produced by Findus was found to contain 100 per cent of horsemeat.

Mr King added: "We have delivered strong sales in the fourth quarter, increasing market share and outperforming in what remains a tough retail environment. Over the quarter, we grew customer transactions to 22.9 million per week, serving more customers than ever.

"Valentine's Day and Mother's Day were both particularly strong this year, and we closed the quarter with a very successful Red Nose Day, presenting a record cheque for £10.5 million on behalf of customers and colleagues."

Sainsbury's strong performance during this quarter saw its total revenues also shoot up by 7.1 per cent with an increase of around five per cent being recorded over the past financial year. Jean Roche, Panmure Gordon stockbrokers analyst, also noted that Sainsbury's has been helped by the underperformance of Morrisons.