Sainsbury's sales boosted by summer heatwave
Sainsbury’s saw its like-for-like sales edge up 0.6% in its first half after its food and general merchandise sales benefited from this year’s hot summer.
The growth was driven by an investment in lowering prices as the supermarket looks to compete with the likes of Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl.
In the 28 weeks to 22 September, grocery sales rose by 1.2% and general merchandise sales by 1.5%, although clothing sales fell by 1% due to changes in promotional phasing.
Revenue increased by 3.5% to £16.9 billion while underlying pre-tax climbed by 20.3% to £302 million. However, statutory pre-tax profit was down 40% to £132 million when costs relating to the restructuring of store management teams, the integration of Argos, and the supermarket’s proposed merger with Asda were included.
Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s group chief executive, said the company's market remains very competitive as it works to transform its business to meet the changing needs of shoppers.
He added: “We have delivered a solid first half performance and profit has increased because we have delivered significant Argos synergies ahead of schedule. Sales of food and general merchandise were boosted by the hot summer, but general merchandise margins remain under pressure.”
The Competition and Markets Authority is currently conducting its phase two review of the supermarket's proposed merger with Asda.
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