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Sainsbury's first half profits up 9.1%

Sainsbury’s saw its pre-tax profits rise by 9.1% in the first half of its financial year as the supermarket’s share of the grocery market reached its highest point in a decade.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Sainsbury's first half profits up 9.1%

Sainsbury’s saw its pre-tax profits rise by 9.1% in the first half of its financial year as the supermarket’s share of the grocery market reached its highest point in a decade.

In the 28 weeks to 28 September, Sainsbury’s increased its statutory pre-tax profits to £433 million from £397 million in the same period last year.

While total sales excluding fuel climbed by 4%, like-for-like sales excluding fuel rose by 1.4% to complete 35 consecutive quarters of like-for-like sales growth.

In statement issued today, Sainsbury’s said it had outperformed the market in the period by increasing its market share to 16.8%, the highest for a decade.

The supermarket’s sales growth was driven in part by the success of its own-brand food which is growing at over twice the rate of branded goods with the By Sainsbury's and Taste the Difference ranges showing double-digit growth.

There was also strong growth in sales of general merchandise which are increasing at around twice the rate of food sales.

The supermarket said its online grocery sales are now 15% higher than a year ago, with over £1 billion in annualised sales and orders regularly exceeding 180,000 a week. Its convenience business is also growing, with sales rising by over 20% as the supermarket opens around two new stores each week.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King said: "Our share of the grocery market is the highest for a decade at 16.8 per cent following 35 consecutive quarters of like-for-like sales growth. We are helping customers Live Well for Less through high-quality, affordable own-brand products, Brand Match, Nectar and targeted coupon-at-till promotions.

"Whilst customers' budgets remain tight and any recovery in the economy may take time to take effect, our consistent strategy and strong values-driven culture mean we are well placed to continue to deliver for customers, colleagues and shareholders."

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