British retailer Sainsbury (J) Plc (SBRY.L,JSAIY.PK) Wednesday said its total sales and like-for-like sales for the first quarter grew from last year, helped by continued growth in its own label ranges. Looking ahead, the company expects the market to remain competitive.
In a trading statement, Sainsbury reported a 3.6 percent rise in total sales for the quarter. Excluding fuel, sales were up 3.8 percent. Like-for-like sales improved 1.4 percent from the prior year. Convenience stores achieved sales growth of 16 percent and online business sales increased over 20 percent from the previous year.
The company noted that the quarter was characterized by five bank holidays, a royal event and periods of unseasonal weather. Customers were in the habit of saving money to treat themselves on special occasions such as the Jubilee celebrations, and that drove strong sales, Sainsbury added.
Justin King, chief executive of the company stated, "We have delivered good sales growth in the quarter, in line with our expectations, helping our customers to manage both their weekly budgets, and to celebrate special occasions. Over the quarter we maintained our outperformance of the market with 1.4 per cent like-for-like growth."
Sainsbury said its non-food category is continuing to grow faster than food. "We are gaining market share in our core general merchandise and clothing categories," King added.
In addition, the company added 63,000 square feet of gross space to its estate, with the opening of 21 convenience stores and one extension.
On Tuesday, the company announced the acquisition of HMV Group Plc's shareholding in Anobii Limited - a social network and online retailer of e-books.
Sainsbury expects the buy to support its drive into the growing online and digital entertainment market following the launch of Sainsbury's Entertainment in November 2010. The Anobii service currently has over 600,000 users worldwide, with a library of over 60,000 e-books.
The retailer bought online entertainment company Global Media Vault in October 2011 and launched its music download service earlier this year.
Sainsbury shares are currently trading at 285.4 pence, down 5.7 pence or 1.96 percent, on a volume of 1.09 million shares on the LSE.
| || |
| To receive FREE breaking news email alerts for Sainsbury(J) PLC and others in your portfolio|
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org