Retail sales excluding fuel rose by 0.8% during the first quarter at FTSE 100 supermarket J Sainsbury (LON:SBRY) as the company cut prices in produce. Clothing and general merchandise posted increases of 0.8% and 1.7% respectively, with food managing only 0.5% which was largely driven by online and convenience channels.
Chairman Mike Coupe warned that the market remained highly competitive, but said the the potential combination of Asda and Sainsbury’s could create a “dynamic new player in UK retail“. Management said that they had agreed a £3.5 billion financing package to help fund the bid. Shares in the business climbed to 328.70p (as at 14:40 BST), up by 3.17%.