• FY pre-tax profit up 12.8% to GBP827m
  • Sales rise 7.1% to GBP22.943bn
  • Non-food growing at three times the rate of food

Supermarket group Sainsbury’s posted a higher than expected 12.8% rise in full-year profits, boosted by new store space and notable growth in non-food sales.

The UK company, which has the Tu own-label clothing brand, said it was now the UK’s seventh biggest clothing, footwear and accessories retailer, increasing its share of the market to 3.3% from 2.6% in the 24 weeks to 20 March.

Weekly customer transactions in the year to 19 March stood at 21m, Sainsbury’s added, up by 1m on the year before.

“Strong sales growth, combined with productivity savings and tight control on operating costs, have helped to deliver good profit growth,” said Justin King, company chief executive.

“We expect the economic environment to remain uncertain over the coming year. We remain confident that our strategy, alongside continued strong operational performance, will enable the business to make further good progress.”

Sainsbury’s said expansion of non-food space remained a key part of its five-point strategy to improve sales and profits.