Sainsbury's reports early signs of improvement

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The Independent Online

The supermarket chain Sainsbury's said today it was seeing early signs of improvement despite unveiling a 62-per-cent fall in annual profits to £254 million.

The supermarket chain Sainsbury's said today it was seeing early signs of improvement despite unveiling a 62-per-cent fall in annual profits to £254 million.

The group, which is in the middle of a major turnaround programme, said same-store sales fell by 0.4 per cent in the year to March 26 but this included a 1.7-per-cent lift during the final quarter.

The chairman Philip Hampton said: "While it is pleasing to be able to report that our sales performance improved towards the end of the year, these are early days and there is much to be done to deliver our plans in a tough and competitive UK retail market."

The profits figure, which excluded exceptional items, was in line with market expectations.

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