Sainsbury’s in recovery as profits surge

sainsburyJ Sainsbury, the supermarket group that recently fought off a takeover bid, has seen profits surge as its recovery plan begins to take hold. The retailer has reported a 42.3% increase in underlying pre-tax profits to £380m for the year to the end of March.

It also reported a 5.9% increase in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, for the 52 weeks to March 24.

Chairman Philip Hampton says: “Since March 2005, we have grown sales by £1.8bn with over £1bn delivered in the 2006/07 financial year. This means we are ahead of our target to grow sales by £2.5bn my March 2008.”

The group has announced new plans, which will overlap with its current recovery strategy, to grow sales over the next three years to £3.5bn with a split of two-thirds grocery and a one third non-food.

Earlier this year, Sainsbury’s received a number of proposals from a private equity consortium but it backed down after failing to gain the backing of the board. The company is now under pressure to sell off its property portfolio that has been valued at £8.6bn, 65% above current net book value.

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