Sainsbury’s sees pre-tax profit fall as it shows how much it spent to ‘keep prices down’ during cost-of-living crisis | Business news

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Sainsbury’s has reported a drop in its pre-tax profit as it reveals it has spent more than £560m to “keep our prices down over the last two years”.

The supermarket chain said group sales were up 5.4% to £35.15bn in the year ended March 4, but underlying profit before tax was £690m – down from £730m at the same time time last year.

Chief executive Simon Roberts said: “We really understand how tough life is for so many households at the moment and so we are absolutely committed to fighting inflation for our customers.

“Our focus on value has never been greater and we have spent over £560 million over the last two years to keep our prices low.

“As a result, we are now the best value compared to our competitors that we have been in many years and are delivering improved market share performance in Sainsbury’s and Argos.”

He said the company had invested £225 million in measures for its employees over the past 12 months, including three pay raises.

A further £66 million was used as additional aid for British farmers, he said, adding: “I am grateful for their support in what has been another difficult year for food supply chains”.

“We made these very informed decisions and investments because they make our business stronger, but more importantly, because they are simply the right thing to do.”

The words echo those of Pano Christou, CEO of Pret a Manger, who told Sky News yesterday that he would “continue to care for our people and our customers”despite warnings from the Bank of England about inflation.

Mr Roberts said on Thursday: “While much remains to be done and there is no doubt that the year ahead will continue to be challenging, I am confident that we will continue to deliver for our customers, colleagues, communities and shareholders.”

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