Sainsbury joins listed supermarket rivals - UK
Fin24 - Mar 16th 2016, 15:11
London - Sainsbury’s surprise increase in fourth-quarter sales means all of Britain’s big listed supermarkets are back in growth.
For the first time since 2011, same-store revenue is rising at Sainsbury, market leader Tesco and Wm Morrison Supermarkets. Of the four main grocery chains, only Walmart Stores’ Asda chain remains in decline.
“The market is fairly brutal, so it is a massive thumbs up,” Bryan Roberts, an analyst at TCC Global, said of Sainsbury’s 0.1% increase in fourth-quarter same-store sales. That compared with analyst estimates for a 0.3% drop, excluding gasoline.
Sainsbury’s return to growth is the latest sign that the UK’s largest grocers are getting back on their feet amid a price war sparked by the surge in popularity of discounters Aldi and Lidl. Tesco and Morrison are fighting back under new leadership, leaving Asda as the industry’s main loser as its sales deteriorate.
Sainsbury shares eased 0.6% to 278.9 pence in early London trading, mirroring a broader market decline across Europe.
Sainsbury expects the grocery market to remain competitive, according to Chief Executive Officer Mike Coupe, who is pursuing a £1.3bn acquisition of Home Retail Group, the owner of Argos non-food stores.
The CEO must this week decide whether to boost his proposal after Steinhoff International Holdings NV topped it with an all-cash offer. Buying Home Retail isn’t a deal that has to be done “at any price,” Coupe said Tuesday on a conference call.
“The Argos deal is not make or break for Sainsbury’s,” Roberts said. “It has an incredibly strong core business.”From Fin24.com
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