Nov. 14 - Profits at Sainsbury's are up 5.4 percent outshining market leader Tesco but the respected CEO of Britain's No. 3 retailer says he's not going anywhere. Joanne Nicholson reports
It may not be as big as market leader Tesco but Britain's No 3 retailer has outshone them. Sainsbury's beat forecasts with a 5.4 percent profit increase for the first half of the year. Own brand and non-food sales were the secret of its success along with a 20% rise in online business and smaller convenience shops. A profile boost from sponsorship of the London Paralympic Games also helped. Sainsbury's chief financial officer says the winning streak will continue. SOUNDBITE (English) JOHN ROGERS, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, J SAINSBURY PLC, SAYING: "It's going to be tough for the consumer and it's going to continue to be tough for the sector overall. But the fact we've been able to outperform in the last 18 months gives me encouragement and certainly looking forward to the next 18 months, I see no reason to believe why we can't continue to perform in the way we have been." Many UK retailers are finding the going tough because shoppers' wages aren't rising with inflation. Last month Tesco posted a 12.4 percent fall in profit for the same period while sales at Morrison's - Britain's no. 4 grocer - also fell. Sainsbury's shares have increased 14 percent over the past year, partly due to speculation the Qataris are trying to up their 26 % ownership share. But they fell almost two percent after the results over fears of excessive promotions in the run up to Christmas. CEO Justin King also denied he had any plans to leave - media speculation has linked him with Formula One racing. But he said he was happy where he was.