Sainsbury’s posts 7% sales increase

Sainsbury’s says its strategy of “universal customer appeal” is helping boost performance in the still uncertain economic environment, as the supermarket reports sales and profit increased in the first-half.

The company registered a 7% increase in total sales to £11.9bn in the 28 weeks to 2 October. The increase in like-for-like sales, which exclude the impact of new stores, was slower at 2%.

Non-food sales from clothing and homeware drove the increase, Sainsbury’s says, with growth three times the rate of food. Online sales increased by 25%.

The sales uplift helped push pre-tax profit up 8.1% to £332m.

Sainsbury’s’ has been outperforming rivals. According to the latest Kantar Worldpanel data, the supermarket outpaced a sluggish market with 6.1% growth in the 12 weeks to 31 October.

Its share of the market now stands at 16.2%, the supermarket says, up from 15.9%.

The supermarket has looked to steal share from budget rival Asda by investing in the “basics” range and relaunching the premium “Taste the Difference” offering.

Justin King, Sainsbury’s chief executive, says: “”As we enter the second half, we expect the economic environment to remain challenging. We remain confident that our universal customer appeal, combined with our strong space growth momentum, means we are in a good position to perform well in this environment.”

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