📈Sainsbury’s upgrades profit target after solid Christmas

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13th January 2022

Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
Good morning  If you’re considering tightening your belt this year in the face of rising inflation then you’re not alone. A third of people surveyed in a recent KPMG report said they would cut back on household spending this year with eating out less being the most common way people are looking to economise.
Today's stories
  • Sainsbury’s upgrades profit target after solid Christmas
  • London fintech becomes UK’s most valuable startup with $1bn fundraise 
RETAIL
Sainsbury’s upgrades profit target after solid Christmas


What’s going on?
More customers enjoyed Sainsbury’s upmarket food and drink than ever before over the festive period, leading Britain’s second biggest supermarket to boost profit forecasts by ÂŁ60m for this year. 


Why is this important?
Yesterday Sainsbury’s reported that grocery sales in the six weeks to 8 January ticked up 0.1% compared to the previous year or 6.8% compared to before the pandemic. 

Brits splashed out on more premium treats over the festive period with Champagne sales reaching record levels.

In a bid to win back market share Sainsbury’s took on Aldi by introducing a price match on around 150 items including Christmas staples such as turkey, sprouts and potatoes, increasing sales volumes of those goods by 23%.

But outside of groceries performance was less encouraging. The group owns retailer Argos where sales dipped 16% in the three months to 8 January as issues with the supply of TVs, game consoles and toys hurt trading.

This meant that overall sales fell 2.4% during the period but profit was boosted by cost savings from closing 420 Argos stores and closing deli and fresh food counters in some supermarkets. 

 
Takeaway
With soaring inflation supermarkets are keen to do all they can to keep their prices low. Sainsbury’s has undergone aggressive cost cutting to avoid passing on price increases to customers. It’s likely that when they report later this week, Tesco and M&S will deliver similar messages.
FINTECH
London fintech becomes UK’s most valuable startup with $1bn fundraise 

Move over Revolut, the UK has a new most valuable private company. Yesterday payments firm Checkout.com announced a $1bn capital injection taking its valuation to $40bn. That’s a 167% valuation jump in a year and makes the firm only second to Klarna in Europe.

The funding round featured some of wealthiest names in tech investing including the Qatari sovereign wealth fund and Californian asset manager Franklin Templeton.

Checkout.com processes billions of payments for some of the world’s biggest companies including Netflix, Sony and Shein. Since launching in 2012 it’s grown to over 1,700 people across 19 countries.

The cash will be used fund growth in the US so it can take on American rivals such as San Francisco- based Stripe, America’s most valuable startup worth $98bn.

The pandemic accelerated the growth of ecommerce with a third of retail spending now done online in the UK, from a fifth in 2019.

The global retail market is said to be worth $5tr and growing so it’s no surprise that investors have been pouring billions into firms related to the sector. 

Checkout.com is also planning to enter another growing market – web3 the new frontier of the internet that is based on decentralization.
Stat of the day

Last year the average British child's pocket money increased by 9% to ÂŁ7.58 per week
Other stories to keep you in the loop
  • British Gas owner Centrica warns high energy bills to last two years
  • Highest US inflation in 40 years signals end of ultra-cheap money
  • Benefits must rise to twice as much as planned to ease cost of living crisis, says IFS
  • Investors lose patience with Unilever's ethical dilemma
  • Man Utd’s revenue falls behind City for first time ever
  • Kim Kardashian sued over alleged crypto scam
  • Just Eat orders jumped a third in 2021
  • Pret sales plunge in the City as bankers work from home
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