Sainsbury’s has revealed it is “on track” to beat profit targets after delivering strong Christmas results and growing its market share.
This is despite a decrease in sales during its core Christmas trading period caused by the rise of the Omicron variant.
The Big 4 grocer reported that total sales, excluding fuel, fell by 5.3% for the latest quarter to 8 January compared with the same period last year, but were 1.4% ahead of pre-pandemic levels.
Grocery trading decreased by 1.1% against the same period last year, but was 6.6% higher than pre-pandemic levels, before lockdown restrictions were introduced.
Sainsbury’ grocery sales over the Christmas period increased by 0.1% year-on-year over the six weeks to 8 January, which the company attributed to its efforts to keep prices lower for customers, via its Aldi in its “price match” scheme.
Despite online grocery sales falling 15%, the grocer it is now expected to post a pre-tax profit of at least £720 million for the year to March.
I am really pleased with how we delivered for customers this Christmas. More people ate at home and our significant investment in value, innovation and service led to market share growth. At the same time, we are pleased to increase profit guidance for the full year,” Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts said.
“The backdrop was challenging and our teams worked hard throughout the year to make sure we had all of the products everyone wanted. Our suppliers did a great job in challenging conditions throughout the quarter and I thank them for all their support for our business.”