Sainsbury’s has reported a profits and like-for-like sales for the first half of the year.
In its interim results for the 28 weeks to 27 September, pre-tax profits dropped 6.3% while like-for-like sales (inc VAT, ex fuel) were down 2.1%. Its retail sales (inc VAT, ex fuel) were flat year-on-year while underlying group sales were down 0.3% compared to the same period last year with pre-tax losses totalling £290m.
Responding to these results, Sainsbury’s announced a “robust plan” involving the improvement of its own label range, a focus on price and the growth its non-food business as it expects the marketplace to remain tough and like-for-like sales to be negative over the next few years as shopping habits change.
The strategy also involves taking on different retail channels including convenience. As well as investing more in its online offering, over half the new space opened over the next three years will convenience stores, continuing its plan to open 100 c-stores per year. Overall it aims to open 500,000 sq ft of space in each of the next two years, followed by 350,000 sq ft in 2017/18. This will include eight new supermarkets and four replacement stores.
Chief executive Mike Coupe, said: “Our strategy is evolving to address the continuing shifts in customer shopping patterns which we believe will lead to a greater emphasis on product quality and ease of shopping, and an increase in multi-channel shopping.
“We have examined every aspect of our business and we have good foundations for future growth in our supermarket and convenience estates, our online and non-food businesses and in Sainsbury’s Bank.”