UK supermarket operator Sainsbury's has said that its general merchandise and clothing business is growing at nearly three times the rate of food.

The comments came as as the retailer recorded a 7.1% increase in total fourth quarter sales, rising 3.6% on a like-for-like basis, excluding fuel.

"Nearly 33% of our customers are now within a 15 minute drive of a full non-food offer, up from 29% this time last year," said chief executive Justin King.

"We saw our best ever January sale, with sales up 19% year-on-year, and we have continued to see strong growth in clothing at nearly 20% year-on-year, and home accessories nearly 25% year-on-year."

Over the year ended 16 March, like-for-like sales increased 3.6%, excluding fuel.