Non-food continued to grow faster than grocery at Sainsbury's in the half year to October 1, the supermarket chain revealed today.

Good half-year sales and profit growth at Sainsbury’s

Non-food continued to grow faster than grocery at Sainsbury’s in the half year to October 1, the supermarket chain revealed today.

Good half-year sales and profit growth at Sainsbury's

Over the period, the retailer increased sales, including VAT and fuel, by 7.6% 2011 to £12,848m, and by 4.3% excluding fuel. Like-for-like sales rose 1.9%. Underlying operating profit was up 7.0% to £396m, but pre-tax profit fell 15.2% to £395m, reflecting lower property profits.

Sainsbury’s said it was growing its share in the home, clothing and seasonal items categories by offering high street style at supermarket prices. It is continuing to expand the selling area dedicated to these ranges and now has 93 stores with a non-food sales area of over 10,000sq ft – 26 more than last year.

In its home ranges, the company successfully re-branded its top-tier cookshop items as Cook’s Collection and reaped a 32% sales increase on last year’s Different by Design range.

The July home event was also the retailer’s biggest ever, delivering excellent sales of the value TU cookshop and tableware products. Sainsbury’s latest cookery book was also launched, with sales of its own-brand cookery books reaching over 260,000 copies since the first introduction last October.

To support the non-food growth Sainsbury’s stepped up its direct sourcing from its three sourcing offices in Hong Kong, Dhaka and Shanghai. Total shipments from Asia grew by 23% over the period.

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