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Cost of store closures hits Sainsbury’s profits

Pre-tax profits drop over 90% to £9m in the six months to September 21.

Costs relating to store closures have hit Sainsbury’s pre-tax profits for the first half of the year, it has been revealed this morning (November 7).

The closing of a number of stores, including many Argos outlets, was announced in September and resulted in a £203 million charge in the grocer’s half-year results (covering the 28 weeks to September 21).

This meant that pre-tax profits dropped by over 90% to £9 million from £107 million in the same period last year.

There was also a like for like sales drop of 1%, while like for like general merchandise sales fell 2.5% and clothing was down 1.2%.

Taking away the cost of the store closures, underlying pre-tax profit was £238 million, down from £279 million in the same period last year. However, this is in line with forecasts.

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