J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) was the fastest-growing ‘Big Four’ supermarket in the run-up to Christmas, the latest Kantar numbers have shown. The news follows the grocer’s interims earlier this month, which revealed that its profits had fallen in the first half of its financial year.
Sainsbury’s share price has been steady in today’s session, having added 0.18 percent to 227.70p as of 13:38 GMT, in line with the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.16 percent higher at 7,427.20 points. The group’s shares have lost more than three percent of their value over the past year, and are down by some eight percent in the year-to-date.
Latest Kantar data
Kantar Worldpanel announced in a statement today that overall supermarket sales in the UK had increased in value by 3.2 percent year-on-year in the 12 weeks to November 5. At Sainsbury’s, sales rose 2.6 percent during the reported period, with Britain’s second-biggest supermarket attracting an additional 364,000 shoppers to become the fastest growing among the UK’s ‘Big Four’ for the first time since April last year.
“Brands were the fastest-selling products at Sainsbury’s during the past 12 weeks – particularly in soft drinks and dairy – flying in the face of the market’s focus on own-label lines,” Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, explained in the statement, adding that the supermarket’s strongest growth had come from both its Local convenience stores and online sales.
Despite the upbeat sales result, Sainsbury’s saw its market share dip by 0.1 percentage points to 16.2 percent.
Analysts on Sainsbury’s
HSBC Holdings reiterated their ‘reduce’ rating on the blue-chip grocer yesterday, valuing the shares at 200p. According to MarketBeat, Sainsbury’s currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 260.31p.