Supermarket retail chain Sainsbury’s has reported a 0.8% decline in like-for-like sales as ‘challenging’ market conditions remain in the first quarter.

Sainsbury’s, which earlier this year agreed a £1.4bn deal to acquire Argos owner Home Retail Group, revealed that despite the fall, like-for-like transaction across all channels showed ‘solid’ growth.

The group posted a 0.3% rise in total retail sales for the 12 weeks to 4 June 2016.

Mike Coupe, chief executive, said: “We have made a solid start to the year with like-for-like transaction growth across all our channels and total volume growth. Customers continue to shop with Sainsbury’s, knowing we will deliver on our commitment to provide great quality products and services at fair prices, whenever and wherever they wish to shop.

“Market conditions remain challenging. However, we are confident that our strategy to be a trusted multi-channel, multi-product and services retailer is delivering and will enable us to continue to outperform our major peers.”

Sainsbury’s Home Retail acquisition is currently under investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority, who said it would examine the deal to see if it would lead to a ‘substantial lessening of competition’ for consumers, with a decision expected to be announced on 25 July 2016. (See related).