Sainsbury's raises profit forecast after enjoying record Christmas

Sainsbury’s reports strong online growth

Sainsbury’s reports strong online growth

But overall sales of general merchandise, which include the chain, fell in the latest period. Sainsbury's said it won market share in general merchandise and clothing despite "challenging conditions".

The London-based supermarket operator said it expects full-year underlying profit to be moderately ahead of the consensus analyst estimate of £559 million. The retailer will reveal its preliminary full year results on 2 May.

"We're pleased with our performance across the group this quarter".

This was attributed to booming trading over Christmas week, with December 22 being the biggest sales day for stores and online grocery orders reportedly being delivered to customers every second.

United Kingdom supermarket Sainsbury's has reported impressive online grocery sales and a "stellar growth in Argos Fast Track delivery and collection" in its third quarter trading statement.

Third quarter like-for-like (LFL) sales excluding fuel rose 1.1%, an improvement on the 0.6% seen in Q2.

Sainsbury's now has a 16.2 per cent share of the overall United Kingdom grocery market, according to analytics firm Kantar Worldpanel, behind Tesco but ahead of Asda and Morrisons.

He said: "Customers bought more Taste the Difference food than past year as people treated themselves and our popular 25p veg lines helped our customers live well for less".

The retailer, which opened four convenience stores in the quarter, launched 185 new food lines for Christmas, nearly half of which were in its premium Taste the Difference range. "Argos stores in Sainsbury's supermarkets performed particularly well and Argos saw record sales across the Black Friday period".

Sales in Sainsbury's grocery division grew 2.3 per cent, boosted by the popularity of its 25p vegetable range - which capitalised on demand for the lowest prices amid rising inflation. 'We grew market share in both turkey and produce during the key week, when more customers bought their main Christmas meal at Sainsbury's'.

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