Sainsbury’s increases profit guidance after strong grocery sales

Sainsbury’s recorded a 3.5 per cent increase to group revenue in its latest quarters as the company experienced a strong spike in grocery sales over the period.

During the seven-months to 16 September, overall sales at Britain’s second largest supermarket jumped by nearly three per cent to almost £19 billion.

Grocery sales soared by just over 10 per cent, with volume growth across the 28-week period driving “record market share gains”.

Clothing sales were much less successful, declining by 8.4 per cent compared to the same period of last year. The company blamed lower sales on a “disciplined trading approached in a seasonally weak and promotionally-driven market”.

Underlying profit before tax remained flat at £340 million, while pre-tax profits were down by 27 per cent to £275 million. These results were largely driven by a one-off legal settlement made in 2022 which inflated last year's figures.

The supermarket chain said that given its strong trading momentum in recent weeks, it would be raising its profit guidance for the full year to between £670 million and £700 million, representing the higher end of the previous guidance which was between £640 million and £700 million.

Chief executive Simon Roberts said that food was "firmly back at the heart of Sainsbury's" but warned that consumers are still finding things tough.

"I'm pleased to say food inflation is coming down and we are passing savings on to customers," continued the chief exec. "We've rolled out Nectar Prices to over 6,000 products and the vast majority of customers are now shopping with Nectar, saving over £450 million since April."

He said that looking ahead at the festive trading period, the company is encouraged by "strong momentum".

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