Page last updated at 06:50 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 07:50 UK

Sainsbury's annual profits up 28%

Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's has reported strong growth in profits and plans to boost its non-food business.

Underlying profits reached 488m in the year to 22 March, marking a 28% rise on the year before. Like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, went up 3.9%.

The firm said the results marked the end of a recovery plan set out in 2004.

The retailer also said it would invest 15m in 2008 and 2009 to start selling non-food products online and expand its banking operations.

Sainsbury's said it would be adding new sales space to expand its non-food range, both by developing new stores and expanding existing ones.

The firm said it expected two-thirds of future sales growth to come from food and one-third from non-food, with half the new space given to its growing non-food offer.

The board is recommending a final dividend of 9 pence per share, bringing the full-year dividend to 12p - an increase of 23%.

Achieving targets in the firm's turnaround plan "has provided a firm base for ongoing sales profit growth and new space development", the retailer said.

"However, as we said throughout the second half of 2007/2008, consumer budgets are clearly under pressure and we expect the market to remain intensely competitive," said Justin King, chief executive of the firm.




SEE ALSO
Sainsbury's reports rise in sales
10 Jan 08 |  Business
Sainsbury's enjoys jump in profit
14 Nov 07 |  Business

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