Store wars drive Sainsbury’s to first loss in 10 years

The price war on the high street today claimed a major scalp as Sainsbury’s recorded its first loss for 10 years.

The UK’s third largest supermarket chain, recorded a £72m loss in the year to March.

Like Tesco’s results, Sainsbury’s has been hit hard by a write-down in the value of their property portfolio, made up of the stores they own.

But the supermarket also saw like for like sales, excluding fuel, fall 1.9% as demand for cheaper goods on the high street saw consumers increasingly patronising discount rivals Lidl and Aldi.

Underlying profit before tax tumbled by 14.7% to £681m, down from £798m recorded last year.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said: “The UK marketplace is changing faster than at any time in the past 30 years which has impacted our profits, like-for-like sales and market share.

“However, we are making good progress with our strategy, and our investment in price and quality is showing encouraging early signs of volume and transaction growth.

“We know that our customers still want the best quality food at great prices and our strategy is built on our strong foundations of selling great food with a focus on quality, provenance and sustainability. At the same time, we know that our customers want value for money and we have therefore invested in lowering our prices; our prices versus our competitors have never been better.”

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