StockMarketWire.com - Supermarket group Sainsbury's swung to a full-year loss after rising grocery and general merchandise sales were offset by lower fuel sales and costs associated with adapting to the pandemic.

Pre-tax losses for the year through March amounted to £261 million, compared to a year-on-yer profit of £255 million.

Revenue, including fuel sales, edged up 0.2% to £29.05 billion, while revenue excluding fuel rose, 7.3% to £28.84 billion.

Underlying pre-tax profit fell 39% to £356 million.

Sainsbury's declared a final dividend of 7.4p per share, bringing the payout for the full year to 10.6p, which was flat year-on-year.

The company said it continued to expect underlying pre-tax profit in the current financial year to bounce back and that it was comfortable with consensus forecasts of around £620 million.

It also upgraded four-year net debt reduction target from £750 million to at least £950 million.

'This year's financial results have been heavily influenced by the pandemic,' chief executive Simon Roberts said.

'Food and Argos sales are significantly higher, but the cost of keeping colleagues and customers safe during the pandemic has been high.'

'Like our customers, we are all looking forward to things feeling more normal over the coming months and getting excited about a summer of celebration, but we are also cautious about the economic outlook.'

'While there is much that we cannot predict in the year ahead, we are absolutely focused on delivering for our customers and shareholders.'



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