SAINSBURY’S is this week expected to post its first fall in annual profits for a decade as it suffers amid the ongoing supermarket price wars.
The City predicts that the UK’s third-biggest grocery chain, which has 597 supermarkets and 707 convenience stores, will post a 17 per cent decline in pre-tax profits to £659 million as sales fall and margins come under pressure.
Brewin Dolphin analyst Nicla Di Palma said: “As with Tesco, management is likely to announce that 2015-16 will not bring any improvement in profitability, although we do not expect a detailed outlook.”
Sainsbury’s, headed by chief executive Mike Coupe, recently reported a 1.9 per cent fall in like-for-like sales for the ten weeks to 14 March, compared with a 1.7 per cent fall the previous quarter.
Coupe has been caught up in a bizarre legal drama in Egypt that saw him sentenced in his absence to two years in jail for a “historic commercial dispute” dating back 14 years, before he worked for the firm.