Sainsbury’s sees profits rise, but reveals £46m hit from failed Asda bid

Supermarket Sainsbury’s has notched up a rise in annual underlying profits but saw hefty charges, including a £46 million hit from its failed bid to merge with Asda, knock its bottom line.

The chain reported a 7.8% rise in underlying pre-tax profits to £635 million for the year to March 9.

But statutory after-tax profits plunged to £219 million from £309 million the previous year, weighed down by £396 million of charges, including £46 million in costs for the ill-fated Asda deal.

Sainsbury’s also revealed a 0.9% fall in like-for-like sales in the final three months of its financial year after grocery and clothing trading suffered.

Sainsbury’s sales figures
Sainsbury’s sales figures

The figures come after Britain’s competition watchdog last week blocked Sainsbury’s audacious £12 billion bid to merge with rival Asda.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) vetoed the deal, saying it would lead to increased prices in stores, online and at petrol
stations across the UK, with shoppers left “worse off” and quality affected.

Sainsbury’s Group chief executive Mike Coupe pledged to ramp up investment in the group amid “competitive” conditions.

“We will increase and accelerate investment in the core business, investing to improve over 400 supermarkets this year,” he said.

“I am confident in our strategy and also clear on what we need to do to continue to evolve the business in a highly competitive market where shopping habits continue to change.”