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Sainsbury's reports £72 million loss

Sainsbury’s has reported that it made a pre-tax loss of £72 million in the year to 14 March after the supermarket was hit by falling sales and the effects of property writedowns.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Sainsbury's reports £72 million loss

Sainsbury’s has reported that it made a pre-tax loss of £72 million in the year to 14 March after the supermarket was hit by falling sales and the effects of property writedowns.

While like-for-like sales excluding fuel dropped by 1.9%, retail sales edged down 0.2%. Group sales fell by 0.7% to £23.8 billion. 

The supermarket attributed the majority of the pre-tax loss on one-off charges of £753 million which included impairment charges on property. Excluding these costs, Sainsbury’s reported an underlying pre-tax profit of £681 million, which was 14.7% lower than the £798 million it made in the previous year.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said: "The UK marketplace is changing faster than at any time in the past 30 years which has impacted our profits, like-for-like sales and market share. However, we are making good progress with our strategy, and our investment in price and quality is showing encouraging early signs of volume and transaction growth.”

The supermarket said its convenience business delivered growth of over 16% in the year with sales of over £2.1 billion. It opened 98 convenience stores during the year to take the total to 707 and is now aiming to open one to two convenience stores per week.

Sainsbury’s said its general merchandise business had performed well with sales growth of 9%.

Looking at the food business, own-brand products accounted for 49% of sales, which represented a small decline year-on-year. However, the Taste the Difference premium range delivered growth of nearly 5% year-on-year and annualised sales of £1.1 billion. 

David Tyler, Sainsbury’s chairman, said: "Sainsbury's is a business built on strong foundations. With our grocery business at the core, we are confident that we can grow shareholder value through our increasingly multi-channel offer, and by growing businesses across financial services, convenience, online, clothing and general merchandise. I am confident that we have the best management team in the sector to lead us through a time of unprecedented industry change.”

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