Sales from stores open for a year or more, excluding income from petrol, increased 2.1% to £24.1bn for the year to 17 March. Pre-tax profit increased 7.1% to £712m.
Market share grew to 16.6% in the period, the company claims Kantar figures show, from 16.5% a year earlier.
The supermarket says Brand Match, which price-checks against market leaders Tesco and Asda, has improved price perception among consumers previously put off by its expensive reputation. It cites internal research that claims the number of customers that believe Sainsbury’s is cheaper for brands has risen to 80% from 68% when Brand Match launched in August 2011.
The introduction of the brand strategy “Live Well for Less” last year, which carries the dual message of quality and value, is also cited as a sales driver.
Justin King, chief executive, says: “We are succeeding by understanding what our customers want, supporting and inspiring them to Live Well For Less. Delivering quality and value is a compelling offer, in tune with what today’ s savvy shoppers want. Brand Match, combined with our use of coupon-at-till, has improved Sainsbury’s price perception whilst retaining the benefits of our heritage in quality and service.”
The supermarket’s profit growth, although slower than the 9% posted in the previous financial year, still beats rival Tesco, which recently reported a 1% drop in profit. Last week, Morrisons said that like-for-like sales fell 1% in the last quarter, the company’s first quarterly drop since 2004.