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Sainsbury's profits to beat forecasts

Sainsbury’s has said its full-year profits are set to beat forecasts after better than expected trading in its second quarter.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Sainsbury's profits to beat forecasts

In the 16 weeks to 26 September, total sales excluding fuel edged up 0.3% although like-for-like sales fell by 1.1%.

Sainsbury’s chief executive, Mike Coupe, said: "During the quarter we saw an improvement in our key trading metrics. Both volume and transactions grew as the decline in average basket spend in supermarkets continued to stabilise. Whilst the market is clearly still challenging, with food deflation impacting many categories, we are making good progress on delivering our strategy.”

During the quarter, Sainsbury’s opened 27 convenience stores and grew its online grocery orders by over 15%.

Clothing sales increased by nearly 13% following a successful Back to School campaign with over 640,000 pairs of boys' trousers sold from the school uniform range.

The supermarket now expects full-year underlying profits to exceed analysts’ expectations of £548 million.

Coupe added: “Year-to-date we have traded well, with both sales and cost savings ahead of expectations. Should current market trends continue, we expect our full year underlying profit before tax to be moderately ahead of our published consensus."

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