LONDON May 3 British supermarket Sainsbury's
on Wednesday reported a third straight year of
underlying profit decline, despite the boost to earnings from
last year's purchase of Argos, the general merchandise retailer.
Sainsbury's, which trails market leader Tesco in
annual sales, made an underlying pretax profit of 581 million
pounds ($749.3 million) in the year to March 11.
That was ahead of analysts' average forecast of 578 million
pounds but down from 587 million pounds made in 2015-16.
Sainsbury's said the outcome reflected price cuts and cost
inflation, offset by cost savings of 130 million pounds and a
contribution from Argos of 77 million pounds.
"The market remains competitive and the impact of cost price
pressures remains uncertain. However, we are well placed to
navigate the external environment and we remain focused on
delivering our strategy," said Chief Executive Mike Coupe.
($1 = 0.7754 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)