Sains­bury’s sees sales pick up

The Star Early Edition - - INTERNATIONAL - James Davey

SAINS­BURY’S, Bri­tain’s sec­ond-big­gest su­per­mar­ket group, saw sales growth ac­cel­er­ate in its lat­est quar­ter as it ben­e­fited from re­vamped food ranges and held down prices of staple goods de­spite ris­ing in­fla­tion.

The group cau­tioned that trad­ing con­di­tions re­mained tough, how­ever.

Sains­bury’s and ma­jor ri­vals – mar­ket leader Tesco, Asda and Mor­risons – are grap­pling with the rapid growth of dis­coun­ters Aldi and Lidl and hav­ing to cope with more ex­pen­sive food im­ports be­cause of a fall in the value of ster­ling since Bri­tain voted to leave the EU.

“The mar­ket is com­pet­i­tive, and we con­tinue to man­age cost price pres­sures closely,” chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Coupe said yes­ter­day.

But he said Sains­bury’s strat­egy of build­ing a dis­tinc­tive food of­fer rang­ing from own­brand “ba­sics” to spe­cial­ist “free from” and or­ganic lines, grow­ing its gen­eral mer­chan­dise and cloth­ing busi­nesses, and bear­ing down on costs was work­ing.

“Sains­bury’s has im­proved vol­ume growth, while im­prov­ing their price po­si­tion in the quar­ter,” Bern­stein an­a­lyst Bruno Monteyne said.

The group’s re­tail like-for­like sales rose 2.3 per­cent, ex­clud­ing fuel, in the 16 weeks to July 1, its fis­cal first quar­ter, and growth of 0.3 per­cent in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter. – Reuters

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