The UK’s third largest grocer Sainsbury’s is planning for further growth after reporting a significant increase in year-on-year sales and profits in the 12 months to March 19th.
Like-for-like trading excluding fuel was up 2.3 per cent compared to one year ago, while underlying profit before tax soared nine per cent to £665 million during the same period.
According to Kantar Worldpanel data, the supermarket’s grocery market share has grown from 16.1 to 16.3 per cent over the course of the 12 months, and it even temporarily surpassed second-placed Asda during the Christmas trading period.
Commenting on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning, CEO of Sainsbury’s Justin King said that he didn’t see why the business could not gain more market share if it continues operating in its current manner.
Today’s preliminary results statement reveals that underlying basic earnings per share increased 10.9 per cent to 26.5p during the year, while the company’s proposed full-year dividend is 15.1p - up 6.3 per cent on last year.
Non-food operations are growing at over three times the rate of food and this area of the business is expected to continue to drive growth in the year ahead, highlighted by the appointment of two new Business Unit Directors for non-food earlier this week.
Sainsbury’s has added 1.5 million sq ft of gross new space during year, which exceeds the 15 per cent two-year growth target and has created thousands of retail jobs in the process.
King remarked: “Customer numbers are at an all-time high of 21 million transactions every week, which is up one million on last year, a clear indication of our growing universal customer appeal across all channels.
“We have added gross space of 1.5 million sq ft to our store estate, creating over 6,000 new jobs with Sainsbury’s.
“Strong sales growth, combined with productivity savings and tight control on operating costs, have helped to deliver good profit growth.”