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Strong growth in online grocery sales for both Sainsbury's and Dairy Crest

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Online grocery sales at Sainsbury’s grew in the order of 20% in the first half of its financial year, thanks both to new customers and growing order sizes. Customer satisfaction was high, it said, while availability was also improving.

The supermarket, publishing its results for the 28 weeks to October 1, also said its Click and Collect service for general merchandise had reached 700 stores, including convenience stores. Orders placed through the service now account for more than 40% of the retailer’s online sales of general merchandise. By the end of its current financial year the company aims to offer the service through 900 stores.

The update came as the supermarket unveiled a 6.1% rise in turnover, excluding VAT but including fuel, to £11.69bn, from £11.02bn at the same time last year. Pre-tax profits were down, however at £395m, compared to £466m last time. Sainsbury’s said its weekly customer transactions had risen by almost 1m, compared to the same time last year, at 22m.

In other highlights, it opened its 400th convenience store and created 2,700 jobs, with a further 15,000 temporary Christmas jobs.

The results came on the same day as Dairy Crest showed fast growth for its online grocery service, which delivers orders to doorsteps alongside the traditional pint of milk. Announcing its results for the half-year to the end of September, the dairy company said its milk&more service was now turning over £1.2m a week. That’s a 50% rise on its sales at the same time last year.

Dairy Crest said its revenues were up by 2% to £796.2m and pre-tax profits were up by 9% to £39.2m.

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