Sainsbury's overtakes Asda to become second-largest UK supermarket as profits soar 9%

Company now accounts for 16.8% of the market

Sainsbury's has reported a surge in profits compared to last year, with a pre-tax haul of £400 million in the six months to the end of September up 9 per cent on 2012.

It was the best performing of the so-called "big four" supermarkets, and the only one to have increased its market share in the period. Tesco, Asda and Morrisons have all suffered from competition with discount brands Aldi and Lidl.

Sainsbury's has now achieved 35 back-to-back quarters of growth in sales, with own-brand sales rising twice as fast as branded products. Its Taste the Difference range has seen growth into double figures.

Total sales for the half year to 28 September rose 4.4 per cent to £13.9 billion. Convenience stores performed best, up 20 per cent in the period, while online sales rose by 15 per cent.

It now accounts for 16.8 per cent of the market, and has overtaken Asda to become the second-largest supermarket in the UK behind Tesco.

The company added 393,000 square feet of new space through six supermarkets, 50 convenience stores and two extensions.

Not including new stores, sales rose by 1.4 per cent on a year earlier, although the chain expects this rate to come under pressure as it faces tougher comparables with a year earlier.

Chief executive Justin King also warned that customer budgets remain tight and that the economic recovery may take time to translate into stronger household confidence.

Shares were more than 1 per cent higher today after the half-year profits figure came in at the top end of City forecasts.

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said: "Without question, this is a strong performance from a resurgent Sainsbury, even though clouds remain on the investment horizon."

He warned that intense competition, commodity prices and the company's sole UK focus limited its scope for further expansion.

The company is on track to meet its full-year target for one million square feet of new space but said a review of its property pipeline has identified some sites where it no longer wants to build a supermarket. This resulted in a one-off write-down of £92 million in today's results.

Additional reporting by PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence