Sainsbury’s focused on strategy rather than potential takeover, says boss

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J Sainsbury PLC‘s (LON:SBRY) chief executive Simon Roberts said the grocer is focused on its strategy as he dismissed speculation on a potential takeover.


The recent private equity interest in Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LON:MRW) has highlighted how the sector has been undervalued by the stock market and lifted the share price of fellow supermarket chains, including Sainsbury’s.


READ: Sainsbury’s expects huge full-year profit surge even with trading returning to pre-pandemic patterns


Roberts told reporters there was “nothing to update” on regarding bid approaches to the FTSE 100 group, adding he wasn’t “going to speculate on where things are in the wider sector”.


“We’re very focused on our plan. We laid out a (strategic) plan in November to really deliver improvements for our customers and improve the value that we can create for our shareholders,” he was reported as saying by Reuters.


The group forecast underlying profit before tax of at least GBP660mln in the financial year to March 2022, from GBP356mln in the previous period, after first-quarter trading beat expectations with sales up 1.6%.


“With continued COVID restrictions still impacting all of its key markets, supermarkets have continued to perform very well, and Sainsbury’s is no exception,” said Neil Shah, director of research at Edison Group.


“As restrictions ease and customer’s shopping patterns return to normality, Sainsbury’s are well-positioned to capitalise. Its strong performance in the last year has resulted in an acceleration of its investment plans across its customer offering, focusing on further improving its value proposition.”


Shares rose 1% to 280.2p on Tuesday at noon, up 24% in the year to date.

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