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Sainsbury’s has seen sales grow for the 35th consecutive quarter in a row, which leaves the firm on the cusp of overtaking Asda as the second largest UK food retailer. The company’s underlying pre-tax profit in the first half of its tax year was £400 million – better than the consensus of institutional analysts. Obviously the question investors are keen to know now is: can it maintain this performance?
The company’s CFO, John Rogers, confirmed in interviews this morning that UK shoppers are still very price sensitive and that baskets are at least one item less than in previous years. This of course has been the case for a while, and Sainsbury’s has managed to appropriately organise itself to handle these issues. With a more prudent shoppers’ mentality, the third quarter tends to see revenue tighten ahead of Christmas.
Diversification away from its historical core sales continues, as Sainsbury’s has seen clothing and white goods sales increase at double the pace of food sales. Also worth noting is that once again online sales have grown by a further 15%, representing a pattern of shifting demographics in the buying habits of UK consumers.