Sainsbury’s cheers profit growth

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Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s cheered a return to profit growth as the retailer looks to tie-up with Leeds-based Asda in what would be the biggest shake-up the grocery industry has ever seen.

Sainsbury’s returned to growth as it registered an underlying pre-tax profit of £589m in the 52 weeks to March 10, a rise of 1.4 per cent. The supermarket saw profit increase by 11 per cent in the second half of the year.

Mike Coupe, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “I am pleased to announce an increase in underlying profits before tax to £589 million, driven by delivery of Argos synergies, efficiency savings across the Group and improving food margin trends.

“We are focused on making Sainsbury’s a destination of choice. We are clearly differentiated by the quality of our food and we have recently invested a further £150m to lower prices.”

Earlier this week, Sainsbury’s had reached an agreement to merge with Walmart-owned Asda in a £12bn deal.

The chief executives of both Asda and Sainsbury’s affirmed several times that there are no plans to make any cuts to jobs or stores as part of their agreement.

Roger Burnley, CEO of Asda, said: “Asda will absolutely remain in Yorkshire. It’s a proud Yorkshire business and I’m a proud Yorkshire man, so Asda, I’m delighted to say, will remain in Yorkshire with its headquarters in Yorkshire because this proposal is about a twin brand strategy with Asda and Sainsbury’s remaining very much separate brands.”