In both sales and volumes, own-label was growing at more than twice the rate of branded goods, the retailer reported.
Its re-launched by Sainsbury's range now had more than 7,000 lines, while Taste the Difference was showing double-digit growth and had achieved over £1.1bn in annual sales.
“In a competitive retail environment we have focused on delivering high quality, affordable own-brand products across all our channels,” said ceo Justin King.
Likely to remain challenging
However, King warned that while the general economic outlook was showing some signs of improvement, conditions in the food retail sector were likely to remain challenging as customers continued to spend cautiously.
With his departure from Sainsbury looming, he stressed it remained committed to delivering good value, high quality food, using Nectar card data and its Brand Match promise to match rivals’ branded food prices as tools.
“After 10 wonderful years at Sainsbury, I will leave the business at our AGM in July and will hand over to Mike Coupe, our group commercial director. I am delighted that Mike will lead Sainsbury on the next phase of its journey.
“Mike played an instrumental role in our ‘Making Sainsbury’s Great Again’ plan and is ideally equipped to lead Sainsbury as the company continues to develop and grow in tune with the changing consumer and industry environment.”
The supermarket chain reported sales growth of about 19% in its convenience stores in the past financial year, which now accounted for a third of Britain’s convenience market growth, it claimed. Its online groceries business had grown annual sales by more than 12% to more than £1bn, it added.
Sainsbury chairman David Tyler saluted King’s tenure at the helm of the company. “Under his leadership, customer transactions have increased by 10M a week to around 24M, annual sales have grown by £10.3bn to £26.4bn and underlying profit before tax has trebled to £798M.
“He has been a truly exceptional leader and, on behalf of all our colleagues, I thank him for his outstanding achievements.”
Sainsbury reported underlying pre-tax profit growth of 5.3% in the 52 weeks to March 15, from £758M in the previous year to £798M, on underlying group sales up 2.8%, from £25.6bn to £26.4bn.
However, some reports raised concerns over like-for-like annual sales performance, which rose just 0.2% and the previously reported fall in fourth quarter sales, ending a growth run for several successive quarters.