Sainsbury’s full-year profits fall 8.2%

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Sainsbury’s full-year profits before tax have fallen to £503m, down 8.2% from £548m, hit by price cuts and tough competition on the High Street.

Group sales in stores open for more than a year fell 1%.

The supermarket chain’s chief executive Mike Coupe said: “The market remains competitive and the impact of cost price pressures remains uncertain.”

But he added it was “well placed to navigate the external environment” and “focused on delivering our strategy”.

The full-year dividend paid to shareholders has been reduced by 15.7% to 10.2p a share.

These are the first results to include figures from the Argos and Habitat brands, which were bought for £1.4bn last year.

Once their sales are added in, overall group sales increased 12.7%

Merging the operations has produced cost savings of £130m and a profit contribution from Argos of £77m.

Mr Coupe said: “We have opened 59 Argos Digital stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets and they are performing well. We are therefore accelerating our plan to open a total of 250 Argos Digital stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets.”

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