Supermarket Sainsbury’s has seen pre-tax profit dip 1.4 per cent to £788 million in its full year despite a rise in sales, it has been announced.
In the year to March 16th 2013, sales excluding fuel increased 4.5 per cent to £23.3 billion while like-for-like sales climbed 1.8 per cent as the grocer also announced that it is taking full control of its bank facility.
Sainsbury’s has taken full ownership of the bank after paying Lloyds Banking Group £248 million to acquire the remaining 50 per cent stake in the business.
Commenting on the move, Sainsbury’s Chairman David Tyler said:” Sainsbury’s has again delivered a good sales and profit performance, continuing to gain market share.
“Our intention to take full ownership of Sainsbury’s Bank is one that will benefit both customers and shareholders and allow its full potential to be realised.”
Online sales continue to prosper at the grocer, which reached almost £1 billion of online grocery sales over the year while convenience sales hit £1.5 billion as it continued its push into the sector.
Sainsbury’s opened 87 convenience stores over the period, as well as 14 supermarkets and eight extensions, increasing the value of its portfolio by £4 billion though property profits fell on the same period last year.
Market share reached its highest for a decade as Sainsbury’s outperformed competitors, increasing its market share to 16.8 per cent thanks to 33 consecutive quarters of LFL growth and Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King, who denied rumours that he is leaving the grocer, praised its overall performance.
Highlighting the popularity of the chain’s Brand Match and ‘Live Well for Less’ offers, King added: “We continue to invest in offering customers choices of how they shop with us, bringing our food, clothing and general merchandise to more customers.
“Our decision to take full ownership of Sainsbury’s Bank will add further momentum to our strategy of developing complementary channels for the benefit of both customers and shareholders.
“Whilst we see no near term change in the current economic situation, we remain confident that by continuing to invest in our long-standing strategy and by understanding and helping our customers, we are well positioned for future growth.”