Sainsburys post small drop in annual profits

Sainsbury’s has posted a small pre-tax loss for the last financial year, despite seeing sales rise year-on-year.
Profits fell by 1.4 per cent to £788 million for the 12 months to 16 March 2013, while sales rose by 4.3 per cent to £23.3 billion.
Executives blamed the small drop in profits on challenging market conditions, the negative effects of which are particularly potent upon higher-end supermarkets like Sainsbury’s.
Chief executive Justin King said: “With 33 consecutive quarters of like-for-like sales growth our market share is at its highest level for a decade and we are outperforming our major competitors.”
Half of the growth in sales came from the chain’s online arm, showing the increasing importance of online shopping to UK consumers, whose busy lifestyles have relegated the weekly shop as a thing of the past.
The news comes as the supermarket announced it will pay for the 50 per cent of Sainsbury’s Bank, currently owned by Lloyds Banking Group.
Sainsburys is the third largest supermarket chain in the UK, behind Tesco and ASDA.