Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Sainsbury's posts 7.3% growth in convenience in third quarter

Scott Barbour Getty Images News Getty Images Scott Barbour Getty Images News Getty Images
Orlando Vargas | 12 January, 2018, 18:52

Parent group Sainsbury said in a trading statement, that the services were particularly popular during Black Friday and the last few days leading up to Christmas.

However, sales in general merchandising overall fell by 1.4 per cent in the third quarter, though the company said it had outperformed the market and grown share in challenging conditions. Sainsbury's and its large supermarket peers are putting up a better fight against Aldi and Lidl by growing sales.

It also said that it now expects to achieve earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization synergies from its Argos acquisition of between GBP80 million and GBP85 million.

Sainsbury's now expects to achieve £80m-£85m of EBITDA synergies from the Argos acquisition by March 2018, ahead of its previous estimates - and, as a outcome, it expects underlying profit in 2017/18 to be moderately ahead of published consensus.

Sainsbury's said its online operation accounted for 20 per cent of group sales over the period.

Total retail sales, excluding fuel, increased 1.2% during the same 15-week period.

The retailer, which opened four convenience stores in the quarter, launched 185 new food lines for Christmas, nearly half of which were in its premium Taste the Difference range.

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The group said that grocery sales were up 2.3% during the period, however its online grocery (+8.2%) and convenience (+7.2%) posted impressive sales increases.

It also saw success from its line of key Christmas vegetables, available for 25p, and some of the lowest turkey prices available on the market, it claimed.

Sainsbury's subdued trading figures came as Lidl said it had increased sales by 16% year on year in December.

Chief executive Mike Coupe said the business enjoyed a "strong Christmas week" with record sales and more than 340,000 online grocery orders, as well as "stellar growth" in Argos fast-track delivery and collection.

Sainsbury continues a run of relatively strong results for the UK's grocers that began with Wm Morrison earlier this week, after nonfood retailers like Debenhams and Mothercare issued profit warnings following weak Christmas sales.

Mr Coupe also said that the latter two categories grew market share "in a challenging market".

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