Supermarket chain to stick to expansion plans after reporting increase in full-year sales

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s said it would stick to its expansion plans as it reported an increase in full-year sales.

The firm said it would boost floor space by more than 5% this year, a higher figure than its 4.1% expansion last year. It said it would open 50 new stores this financial year and a further 100 in 2010-11.

The firm posted a pre-tax profit fall of 2.7% to £466m for the year to 21 March but said underlying profit rose 11% to £542m. Revenue was up 6% to £18.9bn, largely driven by an increasing interest in budget range products and more people eating at home.

The news will be welcomed by the construction industry following a string of blows for those working in the retail sector, including hefty fee cuts from Tesco.