Sainsbury’s profits bullish despite tough trading

Sainbury’s has reported growth in profits, despite a “tough food retail environment”.

Profit before tax was up 5.3% to £798m (52 w/e 15 March), the supermarket giant reported in its annual financial report. Meanwhile, like-for-like profits, excluding fuel, were up only 0.2% in the same period.

Sainsbury’s reported that its own-brand food products were growing at twice the rate of branded goods, helped by its Taste the Difference products which earned the chain £1.1bn and the rebrand of the ‘by Sainsbury’s’ range.

Justin King, chief executive explained: “In a competitive retail environment we have focused on delivering high-quality, affordable own-brand products across all our channels, helping customers to Live Well for Less.”

The report comes as food prices, including everyday meat products, were slashed across the main supermarkets, due to pressure from discount brands Lidl and Aldi.

King added: “While the general economic outlook is showing some signs of improvement, conditions in the food retail sector are likely to remain challenging for the foreseeable future as customers continue to spend cautiously. We remain committed to investing for the future and continue to see significant opportunities for growth. We remain confident that our differentiated offer, supported by the ‘value of values’, Nectar data and Brand Match, will allow us to outperform our peers in the year ahead.”

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