LONDON Nov 14 J Sainsbury, Britain's
No. 3 supermarket, beat forecasts with a 5.4 percent rise in
first-half profit, helped by the development of its online and
convenience stores business, the two fastest growing grocery
channels in the UK.
The group, which has enjoyed 31 consecutive quarters of
underlying sales growth, is continuing to outshine industry
leader Tesco, which last month posted a 12.4 percent
fall in first half UK trading profit. No. 2 player Asda is due
to update on its third quarter on Thursday.
Sainsbury said on Wednesday it made profit before tax and
one-off items of 373 million pounds ($593 million)in the 28
weeks to Sept. 29.
That compares with analysts' consensus forecast of 371
million pounds, according to a company poll, and 354 million
pounds made in the same period last year.
Industry data has shown Sainsbury sustaining market share
gains from rivals into the second half as it also benefits from
the success of its "Brand Match" pricing initiative, higher
penetration of own-label food ranges and increased sales of
The group has also enjoyed a boost to its profile from its
sponsorship of the London Paralympic Games.
First half sales rose 4 percent to 13.37 billion pounds.
Last month the firm posted better-than-expected second quarter
underlying sales growth.