British supermarket Sainsbury's says profits more than double

13th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

British supermarket chain Sainsbury's said Thursday that profits more than doubled in 2009-2010 as it added floor space and sold more non-food products.

Net profit soared to 585 million pounds (690 million euros, 865 million dollars) in the year to March 20, compared with 289 million pounds in the previous fiscal year. Sales rose 5.6 percent to 19.964 billion pounds.

"The board is pleased with the performance of Sainsbury's over the last year," group chairman David Tyler said in the company's results statement.

"We have delivered sales growth ahead of the market and good profit growth," he added.

"Our progress in achieving our strategic objectives has been strong, particularly on growing space and developing our complementary non-food offer."

Chief executive Justin King warned that the trading environment would "remain challenging and consumer spending will be under pressure."

However the business would make "further good progress" thanks to increased floor space.

The group's share price jumped 2.74 percent to 337 pence in late morning deals on London's benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was up 0.17 percent at 5,393.01 points.

Richard Hunter, equities analyst at the Hargreaves Lansdown brokerage, described the results as "impressive."

"Market share has increased, partially due to a larger convenience store presence, a strong TV advertising campaign and a continual focus on value products for cost-conscious consumers," Hunter said.

Sainsbury's is the third biggest supermarket chain in Britain after Wal-Mart owned Asda and the country's largest retailer Tesco.

© 2010 AFP

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