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Sainsbury’s prepares to repel private equity raiders as profits soar

Sainsbury’s prepares to repel private equity raiders after predicting bumper profits of £660m

Sainsbury’s bolstered its defences against potential takeover bids as the supermarket giant predicted bumper annual profits of £660million.

The figure is above its previous forecast of £620million and would eclipse its pre- pandemic peak of £601million, coming after lockdowns delivered a huge sales boost.

Boss Simon Roberts played down fears that Sainsbury’s could be targeted by private equity buyers, as Morrisons became the subject of a bidding war.

Roaring trade: Sainsbury’s has predicted bumper annual profits of £660m. The figure is above its previous forecast of £620m and would eclipse its pre-pandemic peak of £601m

Asked if the grocer had received any approaches, he said: ‘If we had anything to update on, we’d be updating on it, so we’ve nothing to update you on.

‘I’m not going to speculate on where things are in the wider sector.’ Analysts suggest Sainsbury’s could be a target if buyers fail to land Morrisons.

And speculation has been fuelled by billionaire Daniel Kretinsky’s stake-building, with the tycoon known as the ‘Czech Sphinx’ holding just under 10 per cent. 

Analysts at Shore Capital, one of Sainsbury’s brokers, said the firm’s value was ‘far too low’ given the takeover activity in the sector.

The chain said like-for-like sales had increased by 1.6 per cent in the 16 weeks to June 26, its first quarter. Total retail sales grew 1.6 per cent excluding fuel. 

Grocery sales rose 0.8 per cent compared to a year ago, with online sales rising 29 per cent.

Shares jumped 0.6 per cent, or 1.6p, to 279.8p.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk