Horsemeat: Sainsbury’s outperforms rivals

Sainsbury’s has claimed it has outperformed its UK supermarket peers through the fourth quarter, which could be due to the lack of horsemeat in its products.

The 10 weeks ending 16 March have seen Sainsbury’s like-for-like (LFL) sales for the year rise by 2.1%, and the fourth quarter has seen an increase of 4.2%.

The retailer has considerably outperformed Morrisons and Tesco, which analysts at Shore Capital, Clive Black and Darren Shirley says could be attributed to the horsemeat scandal.

"While we cannot be certain, we do believe that the supermarket chain has not been impacted to the same negative extent as Tesco UK from recent meat contamination issues," said Black and Shirley.

"In this respect, Sainsbury’s points out that it has been DNA-testing for 10 years and that it purchases all of its fresh poultry (although this may not mean frozen poultry and chicken used in ready-meals) from the UK, while its beef comes from the British Isles," they added.

The retailer has been following its 20x20 sustainability plan to help protect the environment, as consumer awareness of issues ranging from health, food waste to seafood sustainability and British produce increases.

The company was also recognised as Employer of the Year at the Retail Week Awards.

Chief executive Justin King said: "Just as we’ve enjoyed great business success over the quarter, so too we’ve seen another set of great results towards our 20x20 sustainability objectives."