SAINSBURY‘S HAS seen its profits shrink again on falling sales in the last six months, according to its interim financial results.

Operating profit for the period to Oct 9 was £131m, down two-thirds from £366m a year earlier. Like-for-like sales fell by almost 1% when the successful petrol station division is not included.

Total sales were up 3.5% to £8.3bn, but the recently unveiled £550m Business Review aimed at restoring sales growth is expected to keep profits down to a similar level in the second half.

Chief executive Justin King said that aggressive pricing and better distribution would take its toll on the bottom line for the next six months.

An interim dividend will be paid of 2.15p per share, 50% lower than last year.