Ready meals and newspapers drive growth at Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s has reported a 13.3% rise in pre-tax profits for the first half of its financial year despite the economic slowdown. The supermarket chain says growth has been driven by sales of ready meals, computer games, books and newspapers.

It saw pre-tax profits rise to £272m over the six months to October 4, with sales up by 7.6% to £10.7m compared with £9.9m in the same period last year. 

The chain attributes its positive results to adapting quickly to changing consumer patterns. 

Justin King, Sainsbury’s chief executive, says the growth to due to “its universal customer appeal and brand heritage” but added that the second half of the year will remain “particularly challenging”. 

The company is planning to roll out 50 new convenience stores over the next the next year and another 100 by 2010. It also announced the launch of its Christmas ad campaign featuring television presenters Ant and Dec, in which they clash with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

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