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Sainsbury growth plans on track driven by non food.

J Sainsbury has delivered a healthy rise in like-for-like sales in the 11 weeks to March 20.

CITY & CORPORATE

Sainsbury growth plans on track driven by non food.

Like-for-like sales – a measure that excludes the impact of new openings – rose by 4.8 [per cent compared with the same period a year ago, or by 1.7 per cent excluding fuel.

New openings as Sainsbury’s continues expanding, particularly in parts of the country where it is less well represented, helped total sales rise by 7.1 per cent, or by 4.4 per cent excluding the impact of fuel.Sales of non-food items grew at three times the rate of food.

Justin King, CEO, said, "We've delivered another good performance in line with our expectations on top of strong growth last year. Excluding fuel, total sales were up 4.4% with like-for-like sales up 1.7% and up 8% on a two year basis. Fuel price inflation has driven further growth with like-for-like sales including fuel up 4.8%. We are now serving over 19 million customers on average per week,up one million on last year.

This completes a strong year in which we have accelerated our growth strategy and increased total sales excluding fuel by 6.3%, with like-for-like sales, excluding fuel up 4.3%. We have accelerated space growth, bringing over 100 new and extended supermarket and convenience stores to customers, which delivered 6.8% gross new space in the full year with an unprecedented level of activity in March. In the quarter we opened six supermarkets and completed five extensions creating around 1,500 new jobs as a result. We are on track to deliver gross space growth of 15% in the two years to March 2011 creating 13,000 new jobs in the two years as a result.
 

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