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Sainsbury’s, Dunelm, JD Sports all up FY profit guidance after strong Christmas on and offline

Investment in digital has driven up sales for many retailers

A number of key retailers have upped their profit guidance for 2022, with many seeing greater sales across the Black Friday to Christmas Peak season.

Sainsbury’s ahead of pre-pandemic sales

Sainsbury’s has updated its estimate for the year ending March 2022 to $720m, a 9% increase on earlier, pre-Peak estimate of £660m. This would more than double underlying pre-tax profits in 2021 and would be 23% ahead of pre-pandemic levels.  

The supermarket chain said that higher-than-expected grocery volumes and structural cost savings accounted for the raised guidance. These have offset higher operating costs due to inflation, and the company’s investment in customer proposition.

Part of this has been investment in digital across the pandemic, which has yielded strong results. The supermarket’s Online sales were 92% higher than two years before in the third quarter, but down 17% from last year overall. However, the Christmas week alone, online orders were up 41% year-on-year.

Chief Executive Officer, Simon Roberts, commented: “I am really pleased with how we delivered for customers this Christmas. More people ate at home and our significant investment in value, innovation and service led to market share growth. At the same time, we are pleased to increase profit guidance for the full year.”

Dunelm decorated for record quarter

Furniture retailer Dunelm recorded a record quarter up to Christmas Day 2021, with sales hitting £407m, £46m ahead of full year 2021 and a staggering £84m ahead of FY 2020.

Store growth was strong, while online sales have doubled compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Nick Wilkinson, CEO, comments: “Our integrated physical and digital shopping experience has transformed since we launched our new digital platform in October 2019. These advances have enabled us to reach more customers with our brand and specialist homewares product range, whilst also providing a much improved customer experience.”

He concludes: “Our digital platform and capabilities also give us more confidence and ambition for the future.Whilst there are several macro uncertainties to be navigated, we feel well placed to continue to deliver profitable growth across all channels and grow market share as the first choice for home for UK homelovers.”

JD Sports scores robust full year

JD Sports is also upping its full-year profit guidance following a very strong quarter across Peak, with the retailer expecting pre-tax profits for the year ending on 29 January to hit £875m – ahead of the £810m previously predicted.

In a trading statement, JD Sports said total revenues for the twenty-two week period to 1 January 2022 in its like for like businesses were more than 10% ahead of the same period in 2020. In addition, it said gross margins for the second half are in line with the previous year.

Peter Cowgill, JD Sports executive chairman, comments: “The commitment of our colleagues is crucial to our success and I would like to thank everyone in our various businesses for their significant contribution in delivering this outstanding performance.”

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