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Sainsbury’s slumps after group cuts sales forecast

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Shares in Sainsbury's fell further today after it became the latest supermarket to cut its sales forecast for the full year, following a slump in trading in the second quarter.

Supermarkets in the UK have been struggling to retain market share and attract customers, as competition increases from cheaper food retailers, such as German stores Lidl and Aldi.

Sainsbury’s today reported another disappointing set of results, as its sales for the fiscal quarter to 16 September fell 2.8 per cent, compared to a 1.1 per cent slump in the first quarter.

The firm now expects its like-for-like sales in the second half of the year to be similar to the 2.1% fall seen in the first half; previously, it was forecasting a moderate rise of 0.2%.

The news sent shares down 3.9 per cent in early trading, to 241p.

The trading update is the first to be presented by the supermarket’s new chief executive Mike Coupe, who replaced former CEO Justin King in July.

Coupe said: “In the second quarter, our performance has been impacted by the accelerated pace of change in the grocery market, including significant pricing activity and food price deflation in many areas. These conditions are likely to persist for the foreseeable future.”

The disappointing forecast comes hot on the heels of the accounting scandal gripping Tesco’s, which had overstated is half year profits by £250m.

Sainsbury’s share price was down 31 per cent year to date prior to today’s update, while Tesco’s has fallen by as much as 44 per cent since the start of the year.


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