British retailer Sainsbury's has reported a 23% rise in first-half profit, maintaining its full-year profit outlook despite continued uncertainty around supply chains.
Sainsbury's, Britain's second largest grocer after Tesco, said it made an underlying profit before tax of £371 million (€438 million) in the 28 weeks to September 18, up from £301 million (€355.4 million) in the same period last year, on revenue that rose 5.3% to £15.7 billion (€18.5 billion).
British retailers are grappling with delays in their international supply chains that are being compounded by labour shortages in the UK transport and warehousing networks.
“Our industry faces labour and supply chain challenges," Sainsbury's chief executive Simon Roberts commented. "However our scale, advanced cost saving programme, logistics operations and strong supplier relationships put us in a good position as we head into Christmas."
Supermarkets also face tough comparisons against record sales during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Grocery Sales Increase
Sainsbury's said grocery sales grew by 0.8% versus the 2020-21 first half and 9.1% versus 2019-20, before the pandemic impacted trading.
The group said it gained market share, reflecting its strategy to improve value, introduce more product innovation and improve customer service. It said it was also helped by customers continuing to eat at home more.
Sainsbury's maintained its guidance for full-year profit of "at least" £660 million, up from the £356 million made in 2020-21.
'Making Good Progress'
"We are making good progress delivering our plan to put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s," Roberts commented. "We have grown market share through improving value for customers, tripling our rate of food innovation and delivering customer satisfaction ahead of our key competitors.
“Whilst customers are returning to many pre-pandemic shopping habits, online sales have remained very strong and we continue to grow market share. At the same time, our plan to transform Argos is on track, delivering significantly improved profitability."
Sainsbury's recently announced it was 'accelerating' its target to achieve net zero across its operations by 2035.