Sainsbury’s sales beat expectations in latest quarter

Supermarket group expects underlying pretax profit of £660m for the year

Supermarket group Sainsbury’s saw growth slow sharply from a year earlier when shoppers stocked up for a first Covid-19 lockdown. Photograph: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

Supermarket group Sainsbury’s saw growth slow sharply from a year earlier when shoppers stocked up for a first Covid-19 lockdown. Photograph: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

 

British supermarket group Sainsbury’s on Tuesday beat expectations for first-quarter sales, though growth did slow sharply reflecting a tough comparison with last year when shoppers stocked up for a first Covid-19 lockdown.

The group, which trails market leader Tesco in annual sales, said like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose 1.6 per cent in the 16 weeks to June 26th, its fiscal first quarter, versus analysts’ average forecast of a fall of 1.7 per cent and a rise of 11.3 per cent in the previous quarter.

Sainsbury’s said sales of grocery, general merchandise and clothing were all higher than its expectations throughout the quarter. It said it outperformed competitors and grew market share.

It said it had further tough comparables ahead as pandemic restrictions continue to ease and customer behaviour normalises.

Sainsbury’s said it expected to report underlying profit before tax of at least £660 million in the 2021-22 year, up from £356 million in 2020-21.

Shares in Sainsbury’s are up 23 per cent so far this year, buoyed by bid speculation.

That started in April when Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky raised his stake to just under 10 per cent and has been fuelled over the last two weeks by a bid battle for rival Morrisons . – Reuters