Sainsburys delivers strong Q3 & Xmas

J Sainsbury plc has today released its third quarter trading statement for the 15 weeks to 2 January, including Christmas trading figures for the 9 weeks to the same date.

The supermarket chain delivered a strong Christmas and Q3 performance as it put its Food First plan into action.

It an unusual Christmas for Sainsbury's customers, with smaller turkeys and alternatives such as lamb and beef selling well. Many customers treated themselves to premium Taste the Difference products such as vintage champagne, party food and desserts. People shopped early and Monday 21 December was busiest day for the first time.

The financial highlights are as follows:
• Full year UPBT (underlying net profit after tax) now expected to be at least £330m, compared with previous guidance of £270m. This is 44% down on last year’s UPBT of £586m
• Profits revised due to impact of second lockdown, changes in restrictions prior to Christmas, in particular Tier 4 restrictions in London and the South East and improved online profitability
• Christmas like-for-like sales up 9.3 per cent, and Q3 like-for-likes up 8.6 per cent excluding fuel
• Grocery sales up 7.4 per cent in the quarter
• Groceries Online up 128 per cent and total digital sales up 81 per cent, now 44 per cent of group sales. It delivered 1.1m online grocery orders in the 10 days before Christmas.