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Sainsbury Plc’ share price up, reports further sales decline, but forecasts growth resumption

J Sainsbury Plc reiterated its forecast that its same-store sales growth will resume later this year, as the company deals with price reductions made by its competitors by concentrating on fresh produce and premium own-brand food.

Mr. Justin King, who is the departing Chief Executive Officer of the company said in its statement that was cited by the Wall Street Journal: “Lower food price inflation and reduced fuel prices are a welcome respite to customers finances but they continue to spend cautiously, leading to industry growth in the quarter being the slowest in a decade.”

As reported by the Financial Times, Mr. King also added: “It’s a phoney war on announcements perhaps,” he said. “But . . . prices are part of the battleground. These things do tend to wax and wane. There is no doubt there is a price skirmish going on as we speak.”

J Sainsbury made an official statement, revealing that its sales, excluding gasoline, in stores open for at least a year declined by 1.1% over the quarter ended June 7th in comparison to the results posted a year ago. The company posted a 3.1% decrease in the same-store sales, excluding gasoline in its fourth financial quarter through March 15th.

The sales update comes at a time when the grocery market is undergoing through deceleration, which is considered the largest one since more than a decade. J Sainsbury Plc, however, is confident it will continue to perform better than most of the industry for the remaining months of 2014. As reported by Bloomberg, outgoing Chief Executive Officer King said on a conference call with reporters: “Our pricing positioning is the strongest its ever been.”

J Sainsbury Plc was gaining 1.46% to trade at 334.60 pence per share by 14:15 GMT, marking a one year change of -7.75%. According to the information published on the Financial Times, the 18 analysts offering 12-month price targets for J Sainsbury Plc have a median target of 325.00, with a high estimate of 400.00 and a low estimate of 155.00. The median estimate represents a -1.46% decrease from the last price of 329.80.

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