Sainsbury beats full-year forecasts

LONDON Wed May 8, 2013 2:12am EDT

LONDON May 8 (Reuters) - J Sainsbury, Britain's third-biggest grocer, beat forecasts with a 6.2 percent rise in year profit, its eighth straight rise, as growth online and in convenience stores drove market share gains.

The group, which trails market leader Tesco and Wal-Mart's Asda by annual sales, said on Wednesday its profit before tax and one-off items was 756 million pounds ($1.2 billion) in the year to March 16.

That compared with analyst forecasts in a range of 730-757 million pounds, with a consensus of 746 million pounds, according to a Sainsbury's poll, and 712 million pounds made in 2011-12.

Total sales rose 4.6 percent to 25.6 billion pounds, while the full-year dividend was increased 3.7 percent to 16.7 pence.

Sainsbury's also announced it had bought out Lloyds Banking Group's 50 percent stake in Sainsbury Bank.

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