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Sainsbury(J) PLC (SBRY)

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Thursday 07 January, 2010

Sainsbury(J) PLC

Trading Statement

RNS Number : 1567F
Sainsbury(J) PLC
07 January 2010

7 January 2010 

Third Quarter Trading Statement for 13 weeks to 2 January 2010

Record Christmas completes strong Third Quarter


  • Total sales for third quarter up 6.2 per cent (6.3 per cent excluding fuel) (1)

  • Like-for-like sales for third quarter up 3.8 per cent (3.7 per cent excluding fuel) (1)

  • Like-for-like sales for third quarter up 4.2 per cent excluding fuel and VAT(1)

  • Weekly transactions up one million year on year

Justin King, chief executive, said, "Sainsbury's has delivered a strong trading performance over the past 13 weeks resulting in like-for-like sales growth, excluding fuel, of 3.7 per cent, or 4.2 per cent VAT adjusted (1). Our strategy of delivering great food at fair prices has resulted in a record Christmas performance, completing a strong third quarter 
on top of good growth last year
 (2)While food price inflation eased in the quarter as expected, a winning combination 
of more customers, enjoying even better products and prices through more stores delivered total sales growth of 6.2 per cent.

We served on average one million more customers each week over the quarterhitting an all time high of 24 million in the seven days up to and including Christmas Eve.  We continue to deliver record levels of customer service and availability, demonstrating the commitment of colleagues on behalf of customers, particularly given the difficult weather conditions in the run up to Christmas. We are delighted to have offered permanent roles to over 1,000 of the colleagues we recruited for temporary roles at Christmas.


Great Food is at the heart of what we doOur continued investment in quality has enabled customers to place the quality food they want at a price they can afford onto their festive tableOur Nectar data shows that over 14% more customers bought their turkey and trimmings from us than last year and we more than trebled sales of our multi-award winning own brand Blanc de Noirs Champagne.  It is our great quality food offer at fair prices that has led to our record Christmas.

Our Complementary Non-Food range grew at over four times the rate of food in the quarter.  Investment in infrastructure has enabled a substantive step up in the execution of marketing led events, such as Halloween, Toys and Entertainment as well as good growth in clothing and Christmas ranges Our 'January Sale' has also started well.

The Nectar loyalty programme has proved increasingly important in a competitive market. There are over 16 million registered Nectar card holders with regular Sainsbury's users up 750,000 versus this time last year. The roll out of our 'coupon at till' scheme was a clear winner with customers, who have responded to the targeted offers and rewards. The launch of our double Nectar point campaign for Sainsbury's Finance products is working well and successfully increasing sales amongst our customer base.

Our New Space development is on track to grow gross space by 15 per cent in the two years to March 2011. In the quarter, we have opened eight new supermarkets including six stores acquired from Co-op/Somerfield and two 
'replacement' supermarkets
 (including Braehead at 68,000 square feet) and have completed five store extensions. This 
year we had 32 more supermarkets open for Christmas than 
last year driving a further step up in the contribution from
net new space to sales growth of 2.6% in the quarter.

Our Channels strategy continues to perform well.  Online grocery sales grew strongly up over 15 per cent in the quarter and we delivered a record half a million online orders over the four key trading weeks before Christmas.  Our non-food online channel was open for its first Christmas giving customers nationwide access to over 8,000 non-food  products. Our convenience business also traded well and a further eight convenience stores were opened in the quarter, bringing the total opened in the financial year to date to 27.

The business continues to perform well in what remains challenging consumer environment. Our universal customer appeal together with our accelerated growth plans means we are well placed to make continued good progress in 2010.   

Investor Relations
Anna Tee
Mark Rigby
+44 (0) 20 7695 7144
+44 (0) 20 7695 6417

1.  Sainsbury's reports like-for-like sales growth on sales including VAT. The change in the rate of VAT from 1 December 2008
     reduces li
ke-for-like sales growth excluding fuel by 50 basis points for the third quarter with the change having annualised on 30
     November 2009. 
2.  Sainsbury's reported like-for-like sales growth up 4.9% excluding fuel and VAT for the 13 weeks to 3 January 2009. Therefore
     like-for-like sales growth on a two-year basis excluding fuel and VAT was up 9.3% for the third quarter.
3.  All sales figures contained in this trading statement have been stated in accordance with IFRIC 13.
4.  Certain statements made in this announcement are forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on    current
     expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any
     expected future events or results referred to in these forward
-looking statements. Unless otherwise required by applicable law,
     regulation or accounting standard, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward
-looking statements, 
     whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
5.  A conference call will take place at 8:45am GMT. To listen to the audio webcast we recommend that you register in advance. T
     do so please visit prior to the event and follow the on-screen instructions. To view the transcript of the
     conference call, go to on
 12 January 2010.
6.  Quarter one and first half like-for-like and total sales growth have been Easter-adjusted for comparative purposes. 2008/09
d an Easter Sunday trading week.  2009/10 included a Good Friday trading week and an Easter Sunday trading week. 

     Sales results for the year to date (adjusted for the timing of Easter*):

Sales growth including fuel (%)
Sales growth excluding fuel (%)

7.  Consistent with last year, Sainsbury's has reset the length of its third and fourth quarters to ensure the Christmas and New Year
     trading period remains within the third quarter.  
The results for the third quarter are for the 13 weeks ended 2 January 2010. The
     fourth quarter
 will be for the 11 weeks ending 20 March 2010. 
8.  Sainsbury's will announce its fourth quarter trading statement on 24 March 2010 and preliminary results on 13 May 2010.
9.  Sainsbury's also released today its first quarterly Corporate Responsibility update and this is available on

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange