Sainsbury’s first half profits down 17.9%
Sainsbury’s saw its underlying pre-tax profit decline by 17.9% to £308 million in the first half of its financial year.
Underlying group sales fell by 2% to £13.6 billion while retail sales edged down 0.1% excluding fuel. Meanwhile, like-for-like sales declined by 1.6%.
Sainsbury’s said the grocery market remains challenging and that sales at its supermarkets had been impacted by food deflation, lower like-for-like volumes and customers shopping across multiple channels.·
Although food sales declined by nearly 1%, clothing performed strongly with sales up nearly 10%.
The supermarket’s smaller convenience stores delivered sales growth of nearly 11% as Sainsbury’s opened 37 new shops to take the total to 741 stores at the end of the half year.
Online grocery sales rose by 7%, with orders up nearly 14% in the period.
Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s chief executive, said: “We are making good progress against the strategy we outlined last November. We are delivering volume and transaction growth as customers value our quality improvements and our clearer, simpler message of lower regular prices.”