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Results round-up

Sainsbury’s + Taylor Wimpey + Ted Baker

Sainsbury’s enjoyed a record Christmas and said sales rose 0.1% rise in sales – excluding fuel – in the 15 weeks to 7 January. Total sales, including fuel, were 0.8% higher.

Online sales made up 18% of total group sales in the quarter.

Clothing and general merchandise also “had a very strong quarter”. Clothing sales rose 10% and general merchandise rose 3%.

Mike Coupe, group chief executive, said: “We had a record Christmas week, with over 30 million customer transactions at Sainsbury’s and over £1 billion of sales across the Group.

“Thanks to the commitment of all our colleagues, we delivered an excellent shopping experience and helped our customers live well for less over the festive period.

“Our Groceries Online and Convenience channels performed well, achieving over nine and six per cent sales growth respectively and at Argos we saw record levels of online participation. Online sales made up 18 per cent of total Group sales in the quarter.

“Clothing and General Merchandise also had a very strong quarter, with Clothing sales up ten per cent and General Merchandise up three per cent.

“At Argos we delivered strong growth in the quarter, driven by the key Black Friday and Christmas trading periods. Our Argos digital stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets are performing well, as awareness of the convenience of shopping at both Sainsbury’s and Argos under one roof grows among our customers.

“The market remains very competitive and the impact of the devaluation of sterling remains uncertain. However, we are well placed to navigate the external environment and remain focused on delivering our strategy.”

John Ibbotson, director of the retail consultancy Retail Vision, commented “Not even jealousy at the strong results posted by its rival Morrisons will take the shine off Sainsbury’s surprisingly decent Christmas performance.

“But talk of a turnaround is a touch premature. Like-for-like sales barely crept up and like-for-like volumes haven’t budged.

“A year ago Sainsbury’s was congratulating itself for retaining its middle-class client base while the German discounters decimated their rivals at Tesco and Morrisons.

“Now Tesco and Morrisons have staunched their losses and are fighting back with aggressive price cuts and some fundamental reforms to their structure.”

Taylor Wimpey

The housing group reported a 4% rise in home completions for 2016 and expects annual profit to hit the upper of City forecasts of between £706.4m and £755m.

The company reported a slightly lower forward order book for 2017, valuing 7,567 homes at £1.6bn. This compares to the previous year’s 7,484 homes worth £1.7bn.

It attributed it to a “small fall in the average selling price largely due to a number of high value central London completions in December 2016”.

Chief executive Pete Redfern said: “Looking ahead, we remain confident that our disciplined strategy will enable us to continue to deliver value over the long term.”

Ted Baker

Ted Baker, the fashion chain, announced a 17.9% (10.6% constant currency) increase in retail sales for the 8 week period from 13 November 2016 to 7 January 2017 compared to the same period last year.

E-commerce sales increased by 35% (31.0% constant currency) and average retail square footage rose by 8.5% over the period to 386,252 sq.ft. (2016: 355,907 sq.ft.).

Expansion continued during the period with further concession openings in China and, with licence partners, the first store in Bahrain and an additional store in Indonesia.

Gross margins were in line with expectations and the company expects to end the year with a clean stock position.

Ray Kelvin, founder and chief executive said: “Ted Baker has continued to perform well over the Christmas period against a tough trading backdrop.

“This result reflects the appeal of the brand and the quality of our collections as well as the talent and commitment of our team.

“The strength of the brand and our multiple channels of distribution leave us well placed to continue the development of Ted Baker as a global lifestyle brand.”

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