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Sainsbury's slashes target as profits and sales rise

Sainsbury's has grown sales by £2.7 billion, exceeding the £2.5bn target it set itself in 2004, after sales and profits rose for the 52 weeks to March 22.

Sainsbury's saw sales rise 5.8% to £19.3bn during the period, with like-for-like sales excluding fuel up 3.9% and underlying profit before tax up 28.4% to £488 million.

Sainsbury's also said it would invest £15m in an online non-food launch in the first half of 2009/2010.

Chief executive Justin King said: "We're accelerating the development of our complementary non-food offer to provide customers with a broader shopping experience and our ability to do this is being driven by the addition of sales space through both extensions and new store developments. We also continue to extend our relationship with customers beyond the traditional supermarket environment through the growth of our convenience store operation, our online offer and Sainsbury's Bank. We are today announcing plans to launch a non-food online business in the first half of 2009/10."

The supermarket has recorded 13 quarters of consecutive like-for-like sales growth.

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