This is how much the failed merger bid with Leeds-based Asda has hit the bottom line at Sainsbury’s

Supermarket Sainsbury’s has notched up a rise in annual underlying profits but saw hefty charges, including a £46m hit from its failed bid to merge with Asda, knock its bottom line.

Sainsbury's supermarket at Colton In Leeds.

The chain reported a 7.8 per cent rise in underlying pre-tax profits to £635m for the year to March 9.

But statutory after-tax profits plunged to £219m from £309m the previous year, weighed down by £396m of charges, including £46m in costs for the ill-fated Asda deal.

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Sainsbury’s also revealed a 0.9 per cent fall in like-for-like sales in the final three months of its financial year after grocery and clothing trading suffered.

The figures come after Britain’s competition watchdog last week blocked Sainsbury’s audacious £12bn bid to merge with rival Asda.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) vetoed the deal, saying it would lead to increased prices in stores, online and at petrol stations across the UK, with shoppers left “worse off” and quality affected.

Sainsbury’s Group chief executive Mike Coupe pledged to ramp up investment in the group amid “competitive” conditions.

“We will increase and accelerate investment in the core business, investing to improve over 400 supermarkets this year,” he said.

“I am confident in our strategy and also clear on what we need to do to continue to evolve the business in a highly competitive market where shopping habits continue to change.”