Shares in J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) have advanced in London this morning, with the company’s first-quarter sales beating analyst expectations. The blue-chip grocer, however, saw its sales growth slow during the reported period.
As of 08:16 BST, Sainsbury’s share price had added 0.94 percent to 321.60p. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped marginally into the red and currently standing 0.21 percent lower at 7,577.67 points.
Sainsbury’s posts Q1 results
Sainsbury’s announced in a statement this morning that its total retail sales excluding fuel had climbed 0.8 percent in the 16 weeks to June 30, with like-for-like sales up 0.2 percent. Reuters reported in its coverage of the news that the number was below growth of 0.9 percent in the previous quarter, but ahead of analysts’ average forecast for a fall of 0.1 percent.
“The headline numbers reflect the level of price reductions we have made in key areas like fresh meat, fruit and vegetables since March,” the group’s chief executive Mike Coup commented in the statement. Sainsbury’s meanwhile saw its General Merchandise sales grow by 1.7 percent during the reported period, with Clothing up by 0.8 percent.
Market remains competitive
Sainsbury’s boss meanwhile noted that the market remained competitive, pointing out, however, that the group’s proposal to combine Sainsbury’s with Walmart’s Asda “will create a dynamic new player in UK retail”.
The tie-up proposal, which is currently being probed by the Competition and Markets Authority, comes amid the ongoing industry price war, with German discounters and Amazon pressuring the UK’s ‘Big Four’ supermarkets. Earlier this week, FTSE 100 rival Tesco (LON:TSCO) unveiled a long-term partnership with France’s Carrefour, which will govern the companies’ relationship with suppliers.