Sainsbury's basket fuller than expected

Underlying half-year profit before tax was ahead of expectations at Sainsbury as it continued to outperform in a challenging market.

Underlying half-year profit before tax was ahead of expectations at Sainsbury as it continued to outperform in a challenging market.

Underlying profit before tax in the 28 weeks to September 29th was up 5.4% to £373m from £354m the year before. Seymour Pierce had gone for £370m while Charles Stanley had plumped for £363m.

Total sales, including valued added tax (VAT) and fuel, were up 4.0% to £13,365m from £12,848m the year before, while excluding fuel they were 4.1% year-on-year.

Like-for-like sales growth in the reporting period, including VAT and excluding fuel, were up 1.7%.

The interim dividend has been hiked 6.7% to 4.8p from 4.5p the year before.

"Whilst the wider economic situation remains challenging, we are well positioned to help our customers Live Well For Less. Our long-standing consistent strategy, combined with our customer insight and strong value-driven culture, will continue to deliver for customers, colleagues and shareholders," said Justin King, Chief Executive of Sainsbury.

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