November 9, 2017 / 7:15 AM / in a year

Sainsbury's first half profit dented by seasonal Argos loss

LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - British supermarket Sainsbury’s on Thursday reported a 9 percent fall in first half profit, a fourth straight decline, reflecting the inclusion of the seasonally loss-making Argos business in the results as well as rising costs.

Sainsbury’s, which acquired Argos in September 2016, said it made an underlying pretax profit of 251 million pounds ($329.7 million) in the 28 weeks to Sept. 23.

That was ahead of analysts’ average forecast of 241 million pounds but down from 277 million pounds made in the same period last year.

Sainsbury’s said retail like-for-like sales rose 0.6 percent, excluding fuel, in the second quarter, having risen 2.3 percent in the first quarter.

The group said the outlook for full year profit remained in line with current market consensus. ($1 = 0.7612 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Costas Pitas)

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