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Sainsbury’s celebrates bumper Christmas with record Champagne sales

Sainsbury’s saw record Champagne sales over a bumper Christmas, which has helped it boost its profit guidance for the financial year.

As well as bumper Champagne and sparkling wine sales, the retailer’s new Taste the Difference wine and spirits helped boost sales, it said.

Chief Executive Simon Roberts said thesignificant” investment in value, innovation and service had result in market share growth, and the retailer had seen its biggest New Year.

“We were bold in our plan for product, value, innovation and service and delivered volume growth ahead of the market,” he said. “Customers also treated themselves and new Taste the Difference products in party food, desserts, wines and spirits were really popular and we had record sales of champagne and sparkling wines.”

Grocery sales grew 0.1% in the six weeks to 8 January – an increase of 6.8% on the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

The retailer also saw strong online groceries – although lower than last year by around 16%, across the third quarter these were up 92% on 2019, or 95% over the 6 week Christmas period (to 8 January).

“The backdrop was challenging and our teams worked hard throughout the year to make sure we had all of the products everyone wanted. Our suppliers did a great job in challenging conditions throughout the quarter and I thank them for all their support for our business,” he said.

Prior to Christmas, the retailer introduced a 25%  promotion on for six bottles or more, but this excluded Champagne.

He added that he was pleased to increase profit guidance for the full year, up from £660 million to around £720 million before tax.

“Free cash flow remains strong and we expect to meet our net debt reduction target ahead of schedule,” he said.

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