Supermarket chain Sainsbury's has seen its full-year profits jump 42.3 per cent to £380 million, three years after launching its business recovery plan.
In the 52 weeks to March 24th total sales at the retailer were up 6.9 per cent to £18,518 million, while its pension fund deficit was reduced from £431 million to £55 million.
Earlier this year the supermarket was the subject of takeover interest from a private equity group, but the Sainsbury family deemed the offer too low.
In 2004 the group launched its making Sainsbury's great again (MGSA) business plan, and chief executive Justin King today said that "against clearly defined targets we made good progress this year".
Sainsbury's now expects to make cost savings of £440 million by March next year, and with like-for-like sales excluding fuel up 5.9 per cent in the last 12 months, the supermarket says employees will share a record combined bonus of £56 million as a result.
"We've had a strong and sustained improvement in performance and this has added significant momentum to our recovery," Mr King explained.
"This strong sales performance is ahead of our own expectations. It's also our best for many years. It shows that our recovery is ahead of plan and that we've made substantial progress in addressing many of the challenges outlined in our recovery plan."