July 3, 2019 / 11:19 AM / 16 days ago

BUZZ-Sainsbury's: Trading volatile after posting weak Q1

(Updates shares, adds analyst comment)

** Shares of British supermarket group fall as much as 2.7% after rising 2.4% in volatile trading on Q1 results

** Sainsbury’s sales fell for a third straight quarter as demand for clothes and general merchandise cooled, and warned investors against expecting an upturn any time soon with Brexit looming

** “GM (general merchandise) drags on LfL (like-for-like) sales but grocery performance better than feared,” analysts at UBS said in a note

** Analysts at brokerage Investec says co is making progress in its stated “priority areas”, after co said it was growing market share in premium food sector and reduced prices in over 1,000 own-brand products

** UBS says “sales mix was better than what the market had feared”, with total Q1 grocery sales down 0.5% against analysts’ consensus of a 0.7% drop and UBS estimate of a 0.4% decline

** “We remain sanguine on the fitness of GM business .. seasonal categories experienced exceptional growth last year favoured by good weather and explain for the majority of the weakness in GM performance,” UBS says

** Co says it has “made good progress in a challenging market” in Q1 (Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru)

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