Sainsbury’s will expand its lingerie and accessories offer after a strong full year performance from its non-food offer.
The grocer said underlying pre-tax profits rose 9% to £665m in its full year to March 19, with non-food sales growing at more than three times the rate of food sales.
Total sales during the year including VAT but excluding petrol were up 4.9%, and like-for-likes were up 2.3%. Sainsbury’s said its like-for-like growth was below its medium-term planning assumption of between 3% and 4%, but “ahead of the market”.
The supermarket said its clothing brand Tu was now the seventh largest in the UK by volume and in womenswear it is expanding more into accessories and lingerie. Kidswear is seventh largest by volume, with sales having grown by over 20% year on year. Menswear has grown by over 18% on last year.
Sainsbury’s highlighted the success of its non-food division. Earlier this week it appointed a new head of clothing, which followed the announcement that Darren Shapland, group development director, was to stand down from the company in the summer.
Chief executive Justin King said: “Sainsbury’s has continued to perform well. Customer numbers are at an all-time high of 21 million transactions every week, which is up one million on last year, a clear indication of our growing universal customer appeal across all channels.
“We have added gross space of 1.5 million sq ft to our store estate, creating over 6,000 new jobs with Sainsbury’s. Strong sales growth, combined with productivity savings and tight control on operating costs, have helped to deliver good profit growth. Our colleagues continue to deliver great service, exceeding our stretching customer service targets, and we are delighted to be paying our colleagues a bonus of around £60 million.”
“We expect the economic environment to remain uncertain over the coming year. We remain confident that our strategy, alongside continued strong operational performance, will enable the business to make further good progress.”