Sainsburys profits beat the recession

RECESSION-busting supermarket giant Sainsbury's became the latest retailer to buck the credit crunch today by posting record profits.

RECESSION-busting supermarket giant Sainsbury's became the latest retailer to buck the credit crunch today by posting record profits.

The company's profits soared by 13 per cent, and became the second major retailer in a week to show it was doing well in the teeth of the economic storm.

On Monday the East of England Co-op reported an 11.4pc rise in profits - showing that consumers in East Anglia were still spending in supermarkets that offered value for money.

Today's results from Sainsbury's showed profits before tax of £272 million, up from £240 million last year. Total sales were up 7.6 per cent.

Staff at the Hadleigh Road superstore were today celebrating their company's success.

Justin King, Chief Executive of Sainsbury's, said: “We have continued to invest in both product quality and competitive pricing. Sainsbury's is catering for, and appealing to, the full range of customer needs and budgets.

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“Shopping patterns have changed significantly and in a relatively short space of time. Getting the best value for money is even more important to consumers when household budgets are stretched.

“We are developing our offer to continue to meet the needs of customers and maintain our good progress.”

Just a month ago, it was reported Sainsbury's market share had dropped as shoppers looked for cheaper alternatives, but today's figures show customer numbers are up.

There are now18 million people shopping at Sainsbury's stores every week, and like-for-like sales have also continued to grow.

Retail experts have seen supermarkets as a “safe haven” in the current economic slump - as customers choose to buy pre-prepared meals to cook at home rather than going out to restaurants.

Both Sainsbury's and the Co-op are developing a network of community stores which are also increasing in popularity because people do not have to drive long distances to superstores.

Within the last two years Sainsbury's upgraded its Upper Brook Street store - the largest food store in the town centre which had at one stage seemed under threat from the growth of superstores.