Sainsbury’s has announced a 5.3% increase in annual profit to £798m, helped by strong growth in its convenience channel.
The grocery multiple posted a 2.7% rise in retail sales for the 52 weeks to 15 March 2014, although like-for-like sales increased by just 0.2%.
Its convenience channel enjoyed sales growth of 19%, driven by “great locations and an emphasis on fresh food”. Sainsbury’s Local now accounts for a third of the UK’s convenience market growth.
In the course of the year Sainsbury’s opened 91 convenience stores and 13 supermarkets, as the group maintained its market share of 16.8%.
Sainsbury’s online business grew sales by 12% and achieved over £1bn in annual sales.
“While the general economic outlook is showing some signs of improvement, conditions in the food retail sector are likely to remain challenging for the foreseeable future as customers continue to spend cautiously,” said outgoing chief executive Justin King.