Sainsbury’s first quarter sales beat expectations
Sainsbury’s has posted a 1.6% uplift in first quarter like-for-like sales excluding fuel after grocery, general merchandise and clothing sales all came in higher than expected.
In the 16 weeks to 26 June, grocery sales edged up 0.8% as the category benefited from higher at-home consumption due to Covid-19 restrictions. While clothing sales surged by 57.6%, general merchandise sales were lower than the same period last year but were still ahead of expectations,
Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “We continue to make good progress against our plan to put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s and have good momentum within the business. Our colleagues are doing a brilliant job of giving great customer service and continuing to adapt as restrictions ease and shopping habits change. Over the coming months we expect to see customer shopping patterns normalise further and we are well set up to serve them however they want to shop.”
In a trading statement, Sainsbury’s said it will use some of the profit benefit of its sales outperformance to accelerate its investment plans across the customer offer. This will include an additional £50 million investment in targeted price reductions across a range of everyday products.
Roberts added: “We are focused on offering our customers even better value and regularly creating new and exciting products for them to try. From today we are reducing prices by £50 million on everyday products from strawberries and cherries to bacon and potatoes, helping customers make the most of this summer. I’m delighted that customers are responding to the changes we are making and that we are growing our market share.”
Sainsbury’s now expects to report underlying profit before tax of at least £660 million in the financial year to March 2022, with progress weighted towards the first half.
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