Sainsbury’s profits drop with 10%

Sainsbury’s has posted a 10.1% fall in first-half profits to £277m as sales continued to decline.

The supermarket giant said like-for-like sales sales fell 1% in the 28 weeks to 24 September.

The Argos owner said it would still reduce shop floor prices but warned the pound’s impact was uncertain as it prepares for more expensive imports.

Chief executive Mike Coupe said the group had made “good progress” on its turnaround strategy amid “challenging” conditions.

“We have invested in the quality of our products while reducing prices on everyday items, delivering volume growth and outperforming the market in customer service and availability,”

-he said.

Sainsbury’s said it was on track to make savings of £500m by 2017/18 and set a new three-year target to slash costs by another £500m from 2018/19.

Sainsbury’s reported underlying pre-tax profits of £277m for the six months to September 24, down from £308m a year earlier. Bottom line pre-tax profits rose 9.7 per cent to £372m.

Mr Coupe said:

“By Christmas we will open 30 Argos digital stores and create a further 30 Argos digital collection points in our supermarkets.”

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