Sainsbury's ups profit and market share

Sainsbury's ups profit and market share

Sainsbury's has reported a 6.8% rise in total sales in its preliminary results for the year to 17th March 2012, to a total of £24,511m (£22,943m in 2010/11).

Excluding fuel, total sales were up 4.5%, with like-for-like sales excluding fuel up 2.1%. Underlying profit before tax was up 7.1% to £712m (£665m in 2010/11). Market share increased to 16.6%, the highest for nearly a decade, the supermarket said.

The retailer said it had expanded its ability to offer non-food products, with 161 stores now selling its larger non-food offer, 22 more than last year, with papershop, womenswear, childrenswear, cookshop, home and seasonal its "hero" categories. General merchandising and clothing "continues to grow faster than our food business, gaining market share", the supermarket said.

It also reported "good growth" in its own label ranges, and sales of almost 300,000 copies of its three own brand cookery books, Summer Recipe Collection, Classics Recipe Collection and Cook Britain.

Sainsbury's added 19 new supermarkets, 73 convenience stores and 28 store extensions during the year.

Chairman David Tyler described it as a "good sales and profit performance", while chief executive Justin King said the supermarket had succeeded in "understanding what our customers want, supporting and inspiring them to "Live Well For Less," promising "further progress both in our core food and non-food businesses" in the year ahead.

Analyst Nick Bubb noted that Sainsbury's "is still hitting the right notes with its marketing and advertising and couponing and they are entitled to be confident of standing up to whatever Tesco etc will throw at them".