British supermarket Sainsbury says profits more than double

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British supermarket chain Sainsbury said Thursday that profits more than doubled in 2009-2010, as new floor space and non-food products boosted the group despite tough trading conditions.

Net profit soared to 585 million poinds (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," said Chairman David Tyler 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" for the time being.

"Whilst we expect that the environment will remain challenging and consumer spending will be under pressure, we believe our strong space growth plans ... will enable the business to make further good progress," King said.

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.

Sainsbury 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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