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Statement of Third Quarter Trading for the 16 weeks ending January 7, 2023


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Using this strategy, record Christmas sales and market share growth were achieved.


Holidays and Q3 For the third year running1, grocery volume performance has outperformed the market because to investments in value, innovation, service, and availability.

Stronger than anticipated general merchandise increase is attributable to gains in market share as consumers trusted Sainsbury’s and Argos for price, as well as the quickness and dependability of Argos Fast Track delivery and Click & Collect.

Retail sales (excluding gasoline) increased 5.2% in the third quarter. Similar-to-like sales increased 5.9%, as a result of inflation and rather stable volume trends.

During the third quarter, sales of general merchandise and groceries both increased. Sales of groceries are up 12.5% from pre-pandemic levels.

Christmas sales increased by 7.1%, led by increases in grocery sales, general merchandise sales, and clothing sales.
Profits should be in the upper half of the anticipated range of £630 to £690 million3.

Before the previous projection of at least £500 million, retail free cash flow is anticipated to be around £600 million4.

YoY Sales GrowthYo3Y Sales Growth
 Total sales performanceQ3
16 weeks to
7 Jan 23
6 weeks to
7 Jan 23
16 weeks to
7 Jan 23
6 weeks to
7 Jan 23
General Merchandise4.6%7.4%(6.9%)(2.2%)
        Sainsbury’s GM5.4%9.1%(15.6%)(10.0%)
Total Retail (exc. fuel)5.2%7.1%56.7%9.6%
Like-for-like sales (exc. Fuel)5.9%
J Sainsbury plc’s Simon Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, stated:

We delivered the best possible Christmas for customers as millions of households managed their budgets differently, hosting larger gatherings again and treating themselves at home.

Customers shopped early, buying Christmas treats and fizz more than once and looked for deals, taking advantage of Black Friday and other seasonal offers. Argos offered great value and quality and, as train and postal strikes disrupted the country, customers appreciated its reliability and convenience.

“We prioritised keeping our prices low and giving our customers great value at Christmas. We went bold on the traditional fresh turkey roast dinner with all the trimmings and dessert, which was the best value in the market at under £4 per head. Sales were also boosted by the World Cup as people celebrated more at home.

Our determined focus on delivering the best value alongside new and exciting festive food plus outstanding customer service and availability meant we delivered record sales, and market outperformance at both Sainsbury’s and Argos.

“We understand money will be exceptionally tight this year particularly as many people wait for Christmas bills to land. We are working together with our suppliers to battle cost inflation and we’re keeping prices low again this year with our biggest value campaign yet in January, price matching Aldi on around 300 of our most popular products.

“Finally, a huge thank you to all my colleagues who really do make the difference for our customers. We announced a market leading pay rise for our front line colleagues last week to £11 per hour (£11.95 in London) and an additional six months of free food in stores and depots.

I am hugely grateful to all our team and suppliers for their hard work and support in delivering these results.”


Investment in value, innovation, service and product availability delivered stronger volume trends across Grocery and General Merchandise, particularly at Christmas. We will additionally benefit from finance costs around £15 million lower than previously guided,

broadly offset by the cost of a significant colleague pay increase ahead of the year end annual pay review. As a result, while we remain cautious on the consumer backdrop, we now expect underlying profit before tax for the year to March 2023 to be towards the upper end of the guidance range of £630 million to £690 million.

We additionally expect to generate retail free cashflow of around £600 million, ahead of our previous guidance of at least £500 million.


Strategic Highlights

Food First: Our strategic investments in value, innovation, service and availability have driven volume market share gains over Q3 and the key Christmas period6, with customers choosing Sainsbury’s to help them create a special celebration.


  • We continue to inflate behind the market7 and have improved our value position against all key competitors8. In November we accelerated our value plan and announced a further £50 million investment in low prices by March 2023, bringing the total investment to £550 million
  • We delivered our most competitive Christmas ever, leading the market with our great value Christmas roast dinner which was priced at less than £4 per person. We performed strongly over Christmas on key fresh food products, with market share outperformance in Meat, Fish and Poultry, and Fruit and Vegetables9
  • Our Own Brand ranges performed strongly, as customers looked for great value as well as festive treats, with overall sales growth of 10 per cent10, and our entry price product range was the fastest growing sub-brand
  • We have extended Aldi Price Match this January, now bigger than ever with around 300 products, including more than 180 fresh products and important household staples such as nappies, cereals and canned soups


  • We launched 300 new products for Christmas, including 145 Taste the Difference products and celebrated many Taste Test wins. Standout new products included our Taste the Difference Mulled Cider Glazed Gammon Joint, Salted Caramel and Belgian Chocolate Wreath and Cherry and Almond Panettone
  • Taste the Difference outperformed our full choice supermarket competitors’ premium ranges11, with sales up 10 per cent year on year and 27 per cent over three year12, as customers treated themselves while celebrating Christmas at home
  • Taste the Difference Mince Pie sales increased 22 per cent, Taste the Difference Panettone sales increased 49 per cent, and we had record sales for Champagne and prosecco as customers shopped our market leading offers on sparkling wines13
  • In January we launched Flourish, a new brand with a focus on helping customers to eat better, with tasty and healthy options such as salads, ready meals, fresh soups and smoothies


  • We invested in service and availability to deliver a great Christmas offer, recruiting over 25,000 new colleagues to Sainsbury’s and Argos this Christmas and working more closely with our suppliers than ever to deliver significant improvements in availability. This supported leading supermarket customer satisfaction scores14
  • We released Groceries Online Christmas home delivery slots five weeks earlier than last year and delivered on Christmas Eve for the first time. Customer satisfaction in Groceries Online for Christmas week improved against last year15
  • We brought forward our annual pay increase and last week announced a further £185 million investment in colleague pay and benefits, increasing the base rate for our retail colleagues to £11 per hour nationally and £11.95 in London from February

Brands that Deliver: 
Argos continues to gain market share2 in a tough general merchandise market, reflecting a reputation for value, great product availability and the certainty for customers of Argos for Fast Track home delivery and Click & Collect fulfilment.

  • Argos performed exceptionally well over the key Christmas week as customers turned to our stores in supermarkets for great value and reliable, last minute Christmas gifting
  • Sales of technology products were particularly strong, driven by improved availability and promotional activity in the run up to the Football World Cup. Household categories performed well as customers bought energy saving items such as air fryers and heated laundry airers and Habitat branded products outperformed in home and furniture
  • We started our Black Friday awareness campaign earlier this year and delivered sales ahead of last year, with over 120 million visits to the Argos website over the campaign period16 and 15,000 orders processed per hour on Black Friday itself
  • Cold weather towards the end of the quarter drove an uplift in sales for Tu Clothing, with knitwear and Christmas pyjamas particularly popular with customers
  • We helped customers to boost their Nectar point balances with enhanced personalised product offers on the Nectar app during the lead up to Christmas and almost 900,000 customers redeemed their points in Sainsbury’s during Christmas week
  • We expanded the Nectar360 Retail Media network, announcing an innovative Connected TV partnership with Channel 4
  • Financial Services has benefited from a continued increase in demand, offset by increased provisioning due to the subdued economic outlook

Plan for Better

  • We launched our Nourish the Nation community programme in November through which we are donating £4 million to Comic Relief, FareShare and other key redistribution partners to support local community food projects
  • We continue to work in partnership with Neighbourly and over the Christmas period17 our stores connected with local partners to redistribute over 930,000 meals to those in need
  • This festive season, we removed single-use plastic lids from our Christmas own-brand brandy butter and brandy cream range, saving 679,000 pieces of plastic. We also replaced plastic with foil trays for turkey crowns, saving over 210,000 pieces of plastic


Like-for-like sales performance2021/222022/23 YoY
Like-for-like sales (excl. fuel)1.6%(1.4%)(4.5%)(5.6%)(4.0%)3.7%5.9%
Like-for-like sales (incl. fuel)8.4%3.0%0.6%2.7%2.9%7.7%6.8%
Total sales performance2021/222022/23 YoY2022/23 Yo3Y
Total General Merchandise(1.4%)(11.4%)(16.0%)(21.1%)(11.2%)1.2%4.6%(6.2%)(3.6%)(6.9%)
GM (Argos)(3.7%)(12.0%)(16.1%)(20.4%)(10.5%)1.6%4.5%(4.5%)(0.9%)(5.0%)
GM (Sainsbury’s)11.2%(8.0%)(15.7%)(24.1%)(14.6%)(1.3%)5.4%(13.8%)(15.5%)(15.6%)
Total Retail (excl. fuel)1.6%(1.7%)(5.3%)(6.2%)(4.5%)3.1%5.2%5.4%6.7%6.7%
Total Retail (incl. fuel)8.5%2.7%(0.1%)2.2%2.5%7.2%6.2%8.9%9.6%8.0%

Certain statements made in this announcement are forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on current
expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ
materially from any expected future events or results referred to in these forward-looking statements.

Unless otherwise
required by applicable law, regulation or accounting standard, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise
any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

A webcast presentation and live Q&A will be held at 9:30 (GMT). This will be available to view on our website at the following link: https://sainsbury-s-q3-trading-statement-2022-23.open-exchange.net/registration  

A recorded copy of the webcast and Q&A call, alongside slides and a transcript of the presentation will be available at www.about.sainsburys.co.uk/investors/results-reports-and-presentations following the event.

Sainsbury’s will announce


 Investor Relations Media
 James Collins Rebecca Reilly
 +44 (0) 7801 813 074 +44 (0) 20 7695 7295



1 Kantar Worldpanel division, Christmas = 4 weeks to 25 December 2022, 26 December 2021, 27 December 2020 and 29 December 2019. Total Grocery volume growth Q3= 12 weeks to 25 December 2022, 26 December 2021, 27 December 2020 and 29 December 2019
BRC data, 5 weeks to 31 Dec 2022. Argos differential, Total NFNC (exc. H&B & stationery) sales

Underlying profit before tax for the financial year to March 2023
Retail free cash flow for the financial year to March 2023
Stores were open on Boxing Day 2022, but closed on Boxing Day 2021,

contributing 0.9% Grocery sales growth to the 6 week Christmas period
Kantar Worldpanel division, Christmas = 4 weeks to 25 December 2022 vs 26 December 2021. Q3 = 12 weeks to 25 December 2022 vs 26 December 2021
Nielsen panel data, Top 100 SKUs by retailer. Average Selling Price YoY growth. 52 weeks to 10 December 2022

Value Reality. Sep-Jan 2023 vs Sep – Jan 2022; Edge by Ascential; internal modelling
Nielsen EPOS YoY unit growth: Sainsbury’s growth vs Total Outlets growth for Meat, Fish Poultry and Produce categories. 4 weeks to 24 December 2022
10 Own Brand sales growth on a YoY basis: 6 weeks to 7 January 2023
11 Kantar world panel – Premium tier value performance 4 weeks to 25 December 2022

12 Taste the Difference sales growth on a YoY and Yo3Y basis: 4 weeks to 24 December 2022
13 Taste the Difference Mince Pies and Panettones sales growth on a YoY basis: 16 weeks to 7 January 2023
14 Competitor benchmarking survey. Q3 22/23 Supermarket CSAT scores 12 weeks to 10 December 2022

15 Sainsbury’s CSAT programme, Lettuce Know, Groceries Online overall score YoY for 1 week ended 24 December 22 vs 25 December 21
16 Black Friday Campaign: 2 to 29 November 2022
17 Christmas period = December

its Preliminary Results for the year ending 4 March 2023 on 27 April 2023.



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