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EconomySupermarkets

Sainsbury’s Q1 sales growth stutters as groundwork laid for merger

Sainsbury’s has seen a slump in its total sales growth down to 0.8% from 1.3% in the last quarter of the 2017-18 financial year

Like for like sales growth dropped 0.7% down to 0.2% compared with the last quarter of last year. Grocery sales growth in Q1 this year saw the largest decline down from 2.1% to 0.5% over the same period last year.

The supermarket’s first quarter report said that the supermarket had invested £150m in “lower prices” and said that investment had also been made in food quality. Clothing saw an improved sales growth of 0.8%, an increase of 0.4% on figures from last year.

Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe, said he was “pleased” with progress in the quarter, and said his firm’s “price position has improved and customers have responded well”. He said the headline numbers represent the level of price reductions made in key areas like fresh meat, fruit and vegetables since March. The strategy had resulted in “a continuation of the improved volume trend we saw in the second half of last financial year”, he added.

“The market remains competitive, however, we have the right strategy in place and our proposal to combine Sainsbury’s and Asda will create a dynamic new player in UK retail, with the scale to give customers more of what they want today and create a more resilient and adaptable business for the future.

“We have successfully agreed a financing package of £3.5bn in relation to the proposed combination. The financing has been raised on attractive terms reflecting the confidence of lending banks in the outlook for the proposed combined business.”

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