Sainsbury’s has thanked suppliers following “a year of unprecedented change” while warning “significant pressures” will continue in 2022-23.
Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury's, hailed the importance of supplier collaboration as the supermarket saw profits rise 104% year-on-year to £730m, despite Covid-19 supply challenges and labour shortages.
Roberts said: “I would like to thank our suppliers for all their support throughout the last year. Partnership and collaboration through these times of significant industry challenge and change have never been more important.”
Roberts' comments come as Russia’s war in Ukraine and rising energy costs are pushing up food prices, with the consumer price of a one-litre bottle of sunflower oil increasing by more than 10%.
The company, in its preliminary annual results for 2021-22, said it was absorbing costs to protect customers from rising prices. It said it had lowered prices across 150 of its most popular fresh products and it was simplifying its operations and accelerating its cost-saving programmes.
Roberts continued: “We know just how much everyone is feeling the impact of inflation, which is why we are so determined to keep delivering the best value for customers.
“We have been able to drive more investment into lowering food prices funded by our comprehensive cost savings plans. As a result, we continue to inflate behind competitors on the products customers buy most often.”
However, the supermarket said supply difficulties means it expects 2022-23 profits to fall to £630m-£690m.
Sainsbury’s said: “The year ahead will be impacted by significant external pressures and uncertainties.”
It also said the integration of Sainsbury’s, Argos and Habitat supply chain and logistics operations was expected to save at least £250m when completed.
☛ Want to stay up to date with the news? Sign up to our daily bulletin.