Sainsbury's increases market share to 16.6 per cent

Grocer reports total sales increase (excluding fuel) of 4.5 per cent for the full year.
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For the 52 weeks to March 17th 2012, Sainsbury's profits dipped to £799 million, down from £827 million in the previous year.

Underlying profit, however, rose by seven per cent to £712 million.

Net sales increased by 5.6 per cent to £22.2 billion.

The retailer outperformed the market with its market share of 16.6 per cent, the highest for nearly a decade.

General merchandise and clothing continues to grow faster than the food business, while also gaining market share.

David Tyler, chairman, said: "Sainsbury's has continued to deliver good sales and profit performance, and to increase its share of the market. At the same time we have grown underlying earnings per share by six per cent to 28.1 pence.

"As a result the Board is recommending a full year dividend of 16.1 pence, an increase of 6.6 per cent, covered 1.75 times by underlying earnings. The Board plans to increase the dividend each year and now intends to build cover to two times over the medium term."

Justin King, chief executive added: "We are succeeding by understanding what our customers want, supporting and inspiring them to Live Well For Less. Delivering quality and value is a compelling offer, in tune with what today's savvy shoppers want.

"Brand Match, combined with our use of coupon-at-till, has improved Sainsbury's price perception whilst retaining the benefits of our heritage in quality and service.

"We have continued to invest in the future of the business, including opening a further 1.4 million sq ft of gross space, whilst managing costs and increasing net underlying margins.

"Whilst the wider economic situation remains uncertain, we remain confident that our clear strategy, market insight and strong values will enable us to make further progress both in our core food and non-food businesses, as well as new channels and services in the year ahead."


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