Sainsbury Reports a Successful First-Half, Says Second Half Looks Tougher

On the back of rising customers, growth in the range of non-food products offered and strict cost cuts, J Sainsbury, Britain's third largest retail store chain, managed to post a successful first half report for the current fiscal year with profits towards the top end of forecasts. Although, the company was quick to assert that the second half will be tougher to handle.

For 28 weeks up-to October 3, the firm reported a 19% growth in earnings compared to the same period last year, taking the profit figures to 307 Million Pounds ($512 Million). The earnings posted have been at the high end of the forecasts made by analysts who had estimated the figure to fall between 296-308 Million Pounds.

"As we enter the second half we expect the economic environment to remain challenging and market growth to slow due to reduced food price inflation", the company said in a statement.

For the first half, Sainsbury reported sales growth of 3.7% to 11.2 Billion Pounds. After the announcement, the company's shares rose 2.5% to stand at a new high trading figure of 336 pence.