Sainsburys Reports Sales And Profits Surge

Sainsbury’s has unveiled strong growth in profits and plans to boost its non-food business .
Underlying profits at the supermarket chain reached £488m in the year to 22 March, up 28 per cent on the previous year, while like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, climbed 3.9 per cent.
The retailer said the results signalled a successful end to a three-year turnaround project set out in 2004 and said it would set about investing £15m in 2008 and 2009 to get its online non-food operations up and running and expand its banking operations .
Sainsburys said new sales space would be added to expand its non-food range, with plans to develop new stores and expand existing ones.
Chief Executive Justin King announced further sales growth target of £3.5 billion from March 2007 to March 2010, with two-thirds of future growth expected to come from food sales and one-third from sales of non-food ranges.
Mr King said achieving targets in the firm’s turnaround plan “has provided a firm base for ongoing sales profit growth and new space development”.
“However, as we said throughout the second half of 2007/2008, consumer budgets are clearly under pressure and we expect the market to remain intensely competitive,” he added.
Mr King was appointed in March 2004 to help the chain recover, after dropping to third place in the supermarket rankings behind Tesco and Asda .
The group’s “Making Sainsbury’s Great Again” revival strategy has so far delivered £2.7 billion of sales growth since it was rolled out in 2005, compared with original hopes for a £2.5 billion improvement, while customer numbers have risen from 14 million a week in 2005, to 16.5 million now.

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