Sainsbury’s says supply issues won’t hit Christmas

Sainsbury’s says it is in a “good position” ahead of Christmas amid worker and supply chain challenges.

The supermarket said its size, logistics operations and supplier relationships put it in good stead.

It announced profits of £541m for the 28 weeks to the end of September, bouncing back from a statutory loss of £137m for the same period last year.

Simon Roberts, chief executive, said many customers were returning to pre-pandemic shopping habits.

“Online sales have remained very strong and we continue to grow market share. At the same time, our plan to transform Argos is on track, delivering significantly improved profitability,” he said.

Grocery sales grew by 0.8% compared with the same period last year and were up 9.1% on two years ago.

The supermarket has forecast a pre-tax profit of at least £660m in the financial year to March 2022.

Mr Roberts said the company was making “good progress” but admitted the supermarket industry still faced “labour and supply chain challenges”.

“However our scale, advanced cost saving programme, logistics operations and strong supplier relationships put us in a good position as we head into Christmas,” he added.

Staff at Sainsbury’s and Argos stores have been given Boxing Day off this year, with all shops closing.

The company also announced that as a partner of the COP26 climate change conference, it had brought forward its target to have net zero carbon emissions in its operations from 2040 to 2035.