Shares in J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) have gained ground in London this morning, as the grocer’s like-for-like sales in the first quarter beat analyst expectations. Today’s results mark the first quarter following the Home Retail acquisition for which the supermarket did not issue separate like-for-like sales data for Sainsbury’s and Argos.
As of 08:38 BST, Sainsbury’s share price was 0.20 percent higher at 249.40p, having jumped more than one percent earlier in the session. The shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped into the red and currently standing 0.33 percent lower at 7,352.78 points. The group’s shares have added just under 10 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by more than one percent in the year-to-date.
Sainsbury’s announced in a statement this morning that its retail like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, had climbed 2.3 percent in the 16 weeks to July 1. Reuters reports that the number compares with analysts’ average forecast of a rise of two percent and growth of 0.3 percent in the previous quarter. Sainsbury’s grocery sales meanwhile came in three percent higher.
“We have seen strong food sales where we have invested in product innovation, such as our new Summer eating ranges,” the grocer’s chief executive Mike Coupe commented in the statement, adding that its general merchandise and clothing business, including Argos, had outperformed the market. He, however, warned that the market remained competitive.
The update comes amid reports that the UK grocer is eyeing a takeover of convenience store chain Nisa. Sainsbury’s, however, made no mention of the issue in its quarterly update.
The results come after the latest Kantar numbers recently showed that the blue-chip supermarket’s grocery sales had increased 3.1 percent in the 12 weeks ending June 18.