Sainbury’s unveils Q1 growth

Sainbury’s saw like-for-like sales (LFLs) grow by 1.9% in its first quarter – but has warned shoppers have less to spend because of the rising cost of fuel.

It said it was experiencing strong customer growth – with weekly transactions up by 5% to £22m – and its LFLs outstripped rival Tesco, which yesterday revealed a 0.7% decline in the same period.

Total sales improved by 4.3%, excluding fuel, and the company said it had been boosted by good weather and the Royal Wedding.

The company’s Basics range was one of its key performers, with sales growing by 22.3% in the 12 weeks to 11 June.

Justin King, chief executive, said: “We’ve delivered a solid sales performance, in line with our expectations, in spite of the continued tough consumer environment. Fuel price inflation combined with strong fuel volume growth resulted in an increase in total sales of 7.3%, with like-for-like sales up 4.8%. Excluding fuel, total sales were up 4.3%, with like-for-like sales up 1.9%.”

The company added: “The market environment remains very competitive, reflecting the challenging economic backdrop.

“We expect this to be the case throughout the year. Sainsbury’s will continue to help our customers to manage their weekly spend and still enjoy great quality products, while at the same time investing for future growth in space, non-food and our online business.”

>>UK sales flat for Tesco

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