Sainsbury’s delivers “best possible Christmas” with strong sales uplift
Sainsbury’s has posted a 7.1% increase in retail sales over the festive trading period after investing in value, innovation, service and availability.
In the six weeks to 7 January, grocery sales rose by 7.1% while general merchandise sales came in stronger than expected with growth of 7.4%.
Meanwhile Argos sales climbed by 7.1% as customers took advantage of its fast track delivery and click and collect services during Royal Mail strikes.
Simon Roberts, chief executive of J Sainsbury, said: “We delivered the best possible Christmas for customers as millions of households managed their budgets differently, hosting larger gatherings again and treating themselves at home. Customers shopped early, buying Christmas treats and fizz more than once and looked for deals, taking advantage of Black Friday and other seasonal offers. Argos offered great value and quality and, as train and postal strikes disrupted the country, customers appreciated its reliability and convenience.”
The results meant that Sainsbury’s third quarter retail sales in the 16 weeks to 7 January rose by 5.2% with like-for-like growth of 5.9%.
Looking ahead Sainsbury’s said it will remain cautious on the consumer backdrop, but now expects underlying pre-tax profit for the year to March 2023 to be towards the upper end of its guidance range of £630 million to £690 million. It also expects to generate retail free cashflow of around £600 million, ahead of its previous guidance of at least £500 million.
Roberts added: “We understand money will be exceptionally tight this year particularly as many people wait for Christmas bills to land. We are working together with our suppliers to battle cost inflation and we’re keeping prices low again this year with our biggest value campaign yet in January, price matching Aldi on around 300 of our most popular products.”
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