RETAIL UPDATE: Sainsbury's surges ahead

Supermarket chain puts in strong performance in the final quarter of the year.
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Supermarket chain Sainsbury's has reported that total sales for its fourth quarter rose by 3.4 per cent - 6.8 per cent excluding fuel.

Like for like sales for Q4 were up 2.7 per cent (6.2 per cent excluding fuel), while like for like sales for the second half rose by 3.4 per cent (5.3 per cent excluding fuel), with Sainsbury's enjoying increased customer numbers and basket growth.

"These sales reflect the strength and resilience of the Sainsbury's brand as we have continued to develop our offer to help customers get the best value from their household budgets," said Justin King, chief executive.

"We are serving more customers with more items as both transactions and basket size have increased year-on-year.

"Non-food sales continue to grow strongly. We have grown our market share in clothing, with Tu clothing now available in 290 stores, and have accelerated the roll out of the Tu Home range. Our online home shopping service continued to perform well, with sales growth of over 20 per cent in the quarter."

King continued: "We expect the current economic environment to remain challenging, but our focus on delivering universal appeal through great products at fair prices means we are well positioned to continue our good progress."

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