Sainsburys like for like sales rise in first quarter

Sainsburys like for like sales rise in first quarter

Sainsbury’s saw sales rise in the first quarter of their year, following the company’s decision to revamp its convenience food ranges.

The recent heatwave vindicated the supermarket’s decision to acquire Argos, with the demand for fans and paddling pools driving an increase of sales for the company.

Like-for-like sales rose by 2.3 per cent, a considerably higher rate than the 0.3 per cent recorded in the previous quarter. Sainsbury’s attribute this rise to the introduction of 430 new products, including 250 new summer lines.

The company saw total sales rise by 2.7 per cent, with grocery sales growing by 3 per cent.

Mike Coupe, chief executive, said that the supermarket had been “working closely with our suppliers to keep prices down for our customers”.

Sainsbury’s listed strawberries, Jersey Royal potatoes and fuel as items where they had endeavoured to keep prices down.

Sales of non-food products rose 1 per cent in the quarter, with clothing sales rising by 7.2 per cent.

There was a 10 per cent rise in convenience sales over the quarter, with this adding to the speculation over a deal with wholesaler and convenience store chain Nisa.

Mr Coupe denied that takeover talks with Nisa were a reaction to Tesco’s £3.7bn swoop on Booker and said “we are not holding on to anyone’s coat tails. This is just part of running a very large organisation”.

He added: “We have lots of conversations with lots of people and they tend to be in private so we won’t comment on speculation other than to say that Sainsbury’s is alive to opportunities.” Chief financial officer Kevin O’Byrne added that “lots of these talks don’t come off”.

Sainsbury’s shares rose 1.3 per cent in early trade to 252p.