Sainsbury - Record sales, but challenges remain

Sainsbury - Record sales, but challenges remain

Sainsbury - Record sales, but challenges remain

In addition, the retailer's Argos stores, which Sainsbury's agreed to buy in 2016, performed well, with Argos registering record sales during the Black Friday period. Online accounted for a fifth of the group's sales during the quarter. Friday 22 December was the retailer's busiest day for sales and on that day Sainsbury's delivered an online grocery order to a customer every second.

Sainsbury's now expects its full-year underlying profit before tax to be "moderately ahead" of the published consensus.

In a statement issued today (10 January), Mike Coupe, Group Chief Executive Officer, said: "We're pleased with our performance across the Group this quarter".

It expects to achieve £80-85m of EBITDA synergies from the Argos acquisition by March 2018 - ahead of the expected £65m.

Grocery sales rose 2.3% year-on-year, with Groceries Online rising 8.2% and Convenience sales up 7.3%.

The company also said it is on track to deliver GBP185.0 million of cost savings this year, exceeding its three-year target of GBP500.0 million by GBP40.0 million.

Argos Fast Track Collection grew by 39% and delivery up by 25% in the period.

Lidl said on Wednesday that it had enjoyed another record December, with sales up 16% on the same period past year though the fast-expanding chain did not publish a like-for-like comparison based on the stores that were already open in 2016. Of these, 18 replaced an existing Argos store. It also opening four Mini Habitat stores taking the total number to 15.

Coupe said Sainsbury's still won market share in general merchandise and clothing despite the "challenging conditions".

Sainsbury's said third quarter retail like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose 1.1 percent - ahead of analysts' average forecast of 0.9 percent and growth of 0.6 percent in the previous quarter.

Sainsbury's said it was able to grow market share in both turkey and produce during the Christmas week, with "some of the lowest" turkey prices on the market.

Mr Coupe said that customers bought more of the supermarket's higher-end "Taste the Difference" range this Christmas period than last, seemingly treating themselves despite generally feeling the squeeze of higher inflation.

Sainsbury's now has a 16.2 per cent share of the overall United Kingdom grocery market, according to analytics firm Kantar Worldpanel, behind Tesco but ahead of Asda and Morrisons.

Related news