Sainsbury's grows profits and market share
Sainsburys has reported another rise in its annual profits as the supermarket saw its market share reach the highest level for a decade.
Underlying profit before tax was up 6.2% to £756 million in the 52 weeks to 16 March 2013 although statutory pre-tax profit dropped by 1.4% to £788 million due to the impact of property disposals.
Total sales increased by 4.6% to £25.6 billion while like-for-like sales grew by 1.8%. Sainsbury’s said around half of its sales growth came from its online arm and smaller convenience stores.
The supermarket outperformed the market in the period, growing its market share to 16.8%, the highest for a decade, driven by 33 consecutive quarters of like-for-like sales growth. Its non-food offer grew at over twice the rate of its food business, reaching a milestone of £1 billion annual sales from general merchandise in February 2013.
During the year, the Sainsbury’s opened one million sq ft of gross new space, adding 14 supermarkets, eight extensions and 87 convenience stores. Pharmacy continues to be an area of growth for the business with over 270 now in stores, complemented by 37 NHS GP or nurse-led surgeries in-store.
Justin King, chief executive said: "Our focus on helping our customers Live Well For Less is delivering good growth in sales and profit. Our key points of difference, such as the best quality own-brand, Nectar, Brand Match, coupon-at-till and industry leading service, are recognised by our customers.
"We continue to invest in offering customers choices of how they shop with us, bringing our food, clothing and general merchandise to more customers.”
Sainsbury’s also announced that it will pay Lloyds Banking Group £248 million for the remaining 50% of Sainsbury's Bank it does not already own.
King added: "Our decision to take full ownership of Sainsbury’s Bank will add further momentum to our strategy of developing complementary channels for the benefit of both customers and shareholders.
"Whilst we see no near term change in the current economic situation, we remain confident that by continuing to invest in our long-standing strategy and by understanding and helping our customers, we are well positioned for future growth."
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