Sainsbury's, Britain's second largest supermarket group, said it was maintaining its financial guidance for the year as it reported a 9.8% rise in underlying sales in its first quarter, driven by inflation.
The group, which has a 15% share of Britain's grocery market, said it still expected underlying pretax profit between £640 million (€745.1 million) and £700 million (€815 million) in the full 2023-24 year, versus £690 million (€803.3 million) in 2022-23.
Trading conditions in the 16 weeks to June 24 were dominated by stubbornly high inflation, which has become a major political issue in Britain, outstripping pay growth at a time of rising interest rates, putting household budgets under strain.
Food and drink inflation was 18.3% in May according to the most recent official data, and 14.6% in June according to the most recent industry data.
'Passing On Savings'
In the period, Sainsbury's fiscal first quarter, grocery sales were up 11% and general merchandise sales rose 4%.
“Customers can see that prices at Sainsbury’s have improved and this combination of great value and some good weather in recent weeks means we have grown our food volumes and market share," Roberts added.
"Customers are choosing us when they want to celebrate and we grew ahead of the market over Easter, the Coronation and the bank holidays."