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Sainsbury’s shares rise on strong Christmas sales

Sainsbury’s has posted strong sales over the Christmas period thanks to the growth in online shopping.

Like-for-like sales surged by 11% over the period, with sales in the supermarket’s premium Taste the Difference range growing by 11%. Premium champagne sales also increased by 52%.

The supermarket has raised its profit guidance and has said that in the financial year to March 2021, it expects to make an underlying profit before tax of at least £330m.

“We made a strong start to delivering our Food First plan and we are also clear on the opportunities to further improve our offer as we look ahead for 2021. Many customers had to change their Christmas plans at the last minute and we sold smaller turkeys and more lamb and beef than normal,” said the Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts.

“While people had smaller gatherings, they still treated themselves, with Taste the Difference sales up 11 per cent. Premium champagne sales were up 52 per cent, Taste the Difference party food was popular throughout December and people did more home baking than usual with mincemeat sales up 24 per cent. Customers still wanted New Year’s Eve at home to feel special and we sold a record number of steaks.

“More customers bought their food online than ever before and we delivered 1.1 million orders in the ten days to Christmas, double the number of last year. Argos sales were up over eight per cent with Fast Track home delivery and Click & Collect beating expectations for Black Friday and Christmas.

“We remain focused on delivering the plan we outlined in November and look forward to providing a further update on early progress at our Preliminary Results in April,” he added.

Sainsbury’s was one of the top risers on this morning’s FTSE and shares are trading +3.44% higher.

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