LONDON (dpa-AFX) - British retailer Sainsbury (J) plc (SBRY.L, JSAIY.PK) on Wednesday reported growth in total sales and like-for-like sales for the fourth quarter, riding on the strength of its own labels. The company expects continued growth despite the challenging economic climate.
Total sales increased 4.6 percent during the quarter, compared to a 7 percent growth in the previous quarter. The increase was 5.1 percent when fuel is excluded.
Like-for-like sales, which exclude sales from newly opened stores, increased 2.5 percent and grew 2.6 percent excluding fuel. Like-for-like sales growth was 4.8 percent in the third quarter.
The company noted that its own label products continue to lead the market. In the food business, sales of Basics range grew by 10 percent in the quarter and Taste the Difference increased by almost 20 percent.
The supermarket chain noted that Convenience, online and non-food businesses are growing ahead of the market, as its multi-channel offer has made customers do more of their shopping with Sainsbury's.
The company added 170,000 square feet of gross new space, including two new supermarkets, three extensions, and 15 new convenience stores. During the year, the company opened 19 new stores and 73 new convenience stores.
For the year as a whole, total sales climbed 6.8 percent. Like-for-like sales climbed 4.5 percent and increased 2.1 percent excluding fuel.
Justin King, Chief Executive, said, 'Against difficult market conditions we are gaining market share in clothing and general merchandise. Our convenience business is growing at over 20 per cent, driven by a combination of new space and strong like-for-like sales growth. We are also the fastest growing online grocer.'
King expects that the economic climate is likely to remain challenging. However, the company expects continued growth underpinned by the Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and Paralympics.
SBRY.L closed on Tuesday at 305.50 pence, up 0.90 pence, on a volume of 6.56 million shares.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX