Sainsbury's profit rises to £610m

SAINSBURY’S made a pre-tax profit of £610m over the year to 20 March.

The figure represents a 17.5 per cent improvement on the company's figures last year.

Like-for-like sales – excluding fuel – were up 4.3 per cent.

Meanwhile total sales were up 5.1 per cent to £21.4m with new shops and a boost in non food ranges contributing to the rise.

Chief executive Justin King said: "We've been growing strongly and managing our business tightly by cutting costs, negotiating hard with our suppliers and saving energy.

"Whilst we expect that the environment will remain challenging and consumer spending will be under pressure, we believe our strong space growth plans, supporting our expanding food, complementary non-food and convenience store businesses ... will enable the business to make further good progress."

The company also announced it would inject more money into its pension fund after a valuation showed it had a £1.2bn deficit as of march 2009.