Sainsbury's Cuts Dividend, 1st Half Pretax Profit Falls

By Carlo Martuscelli Features Dow Jones Newswires

J Sainsbury PLC (SBRY.LN) said Thursday that it was cutting its dividend after reporting a 41% decrease in pretax profit for the first half of the year.

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The U.K. supermarket chain posted a pretax profit of 220 million pounds for the 28 weeks to Sept. 23 compared with GBP372 million in the first half of 2016. Group sales, excluding VAT, increased to GBP14.64 billion from GBP12.64 billion the year before.

Sainsbury's cut its interim dividend to 3.1 pence, from 3.6 pence the year before.

The retailer said that its 2016 first-half pretax figure benefited from a one-off property gain and from the sale of its pharmacy business. Underlying profit before tax was down 9.4% to GBP251 million.

The company said the increase in sales reflected the full consolidation of its acquisition of catalogue retailer Argos.

Sainsbury's reported it has achieved earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization synergies of GBP25 million in the first half--adding it was on track to deliver its GBP160 million Ebitda synergy target from the acquisition six months ahead of schedule.

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The retailer said its full-year underlying profit expectation remains in line with the current market consensus.

Write to Carlo Martuscelli at carlo.martuscelli@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 09, 2017 02:43 ET (07:43 GMT)