Sainsbury’s sales impress as Argos deadline looms

Sainsburys is expected to submit a renewed offer for Argos-owner Home Retail Group this week. Picture: Contributed
Sainsburys is expected to submit a renewed offer for Argos-owner Home Retail Group this week. Picture: Contributed
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Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is expected to report improved sales when it updates the market on Tuesday ahead of the deadline for offers on Argos owner Home Retail Group.

Like-for-like sales excluding fuel look set to narrow to a fourth-quarter fall of 0.2 per cent, compared to a drop of 0.4 per cent in the previous quarter, according to analysts at Jefferies.

The move would signal a boost for the Big Four grocer after the ongoing supermarket price war dragged down sales to a fall of 1.9 per cent last year. Sainsbury’s will be looking to drum up a positive picture of the business before the deadline for formalising offers on Home Retail Group on 18 March.

The supermarket said it would create a “world-leading” retailer bigger than rivals John Lewis and Amazon UK when it tabled an improved £1.3 billion cash-and-shares offer for Home Retail in February. South African retailer Steinhoff has attempted to gatecrash the deal with a £1.4bn offer.