Sainsbury's, Britain's second largest supermarket group, reported an expected 5% fall in annual profit as inflation hit both it and customers but forecast a better than expected performance this year.
Sainsbury's, which has a 15% share of Britain's grocery market, said underlying pretax profit was £690 million (€778.4 million) in the year to March 4, at the top end of guidance but down from the £730 million (€823.5 million) made in 2021-22.
For the 2023-24 year it forecast profit between £640 million (€722 million) and £700 million (€789 million), ahead of analysts' average forecast of £631 million (€712 million)
Sainsbury's said the outlook for consumer spending remained uncertain but it had started the new financial year 'with great momentum'.
“We really get how tough life is for so many households right now which is why we are absolutely determined to battle inflation for our customers," commented Simon Roberts, Sainsbury's chief executive. "Our focus on value has never been greater and we have spent over £560 million keeping our prices low over the last two years.
"As a result, we are now the best value compared to our competitors that we have been in many years and we are delivering improved market share performance in Sainsbury’s and Argos."
Roberts added that the retailer is now two years into its plan to "put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s", and the retailer has doubled down on its efforts to reduce costs across its operations.