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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 07:35 GMT 08:35 UK
Sainsbury's fightback continues
Sainsbury's trolleys
Sainsbury's is continuing to turnaround its fortunes
Sainsbury's has reported a 12% rise in annual profits as it continues the turnaround in its fortunes.

Reporting its results for the 12 months to 25 March, the supermarket made an underlying pre-tax profit of 267m ($505m), up from 238m a year earlier.

Like-for-like sales excluding petrol rose by 3.7%. Total sales at the company were up 5.7% to 17bn.

The results were ahead of market expectations, and Sainsbury's has now seen five quarters of rising sales.

The sales performance endorses our belief in the Sainsbury's brand and shows that we are delivering a better and more consistent offer
Sainsbury's boss Justin King

Analysts expected the supermarket's annual profits to rise 11%.

"We have made good progress during the year and we are on track in our Making Sainsbury's Great Again plan," said Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King.

"Our sales for the year were ahead of our plans.

"The sales performance endorses our belief in the Sainsbury's brand and shows that we are delivering a better and more consistent offer."

Mr King added that the supermarket attracted an extra 1.5 million customers during the year.

Industry number three

Looking ahead, Sainsbury's said the marketplace "remains challenging".

It added that the recently seen rise in energy costs would inevitably impact on its results.

Sainsbury's is currently the UK's third largest supermarket by market share - just behind Asda but a long way back from industry leader Tesco.

Shares in Sainsbury's were down 2.3% in early Wednesday trading.


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