Sainsbury’s Sees Like-for-Like Sales Up 1.6% In H1
UK retailer Sainsbury’s has said that its like-for-like sales rose by 1.6% in the first half of its financial year, with its online grocery (+7.2%) and convenience (+8.2%) the star performers.
Group sales were £16.3 billion in the period, which is a 17% rise on the same period last year, however this takes into account the full consolidation of Argos in H1 2017/18.
Underlying profit before tax stood at £251 million, which is down 9%, ‘reflecting previously guided price investment, wage cost inflation and consolidation of Argos H1 losses, partly offset by synergies and cost savings’, the company said.
Sainsbury's said that 'more customers than ever' shopped at its stores in the first half, with its food transactions growing 'ahead of the market'.
As a result of the continued optimisation of the business, the group added, Sainsbury's will be able to deliver 'at least £500 million in cost savings over three years from 2018/19'.
“We are adapting to meet customers’ changing shopping habits and, as a result, we are seeing positive momentum across the business," said Mike Coupe, Sainsbury's chief executive.
"This half we have updated and improved 70 of our food ranges, covering around 40% of our food sales; improved our offer across 15% of our supermarket space and opened a further 73 Argos stores in Sainsbury’s, giving customers more reasons to shop at Sainsbury’s."
In terms of the integration of the Argos business, Coupe said that Sainsbury's is "integrating Argos at pace: we have 112 Argos stores open in Sainsbury’s supermarkets and will have 165 open by Christmas, in addition to nearly 200 digital collection points across our stores."
Sainsbury's recently launched its 'Living Well Index', a long-term study that the retailer hopes will enable it to better understand the needs of its customers.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.