Like-for-like sales rose 3.9 per cent in the 12 months ended March 22nd, while underlying net profits rose 28 per cent to £488m.
That figure may still be less than a quarter of Tesco’s annual profits, but Sainsbury’s management said the rise had returned the supermarket to growth after four years in rehab.
Chief executive Justin King said Sainsbury’s had successfully implemented its ‘Make Sainsbury’s Great Again’ plan, launched in 2004, despite a “challenging market”.
The supermarket re-affirmed its expansion plans unveiled last year. It aims to open 30 new supermarkets and 100 new convenience stores by 2010. King said a bigger footprint in convenience would be one of the group’s priorities. It recently poached Dido Harding from Tesco to lead the charge.