British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s reported that its grocery sales increased by 0.8% in the first half of the fiscal year 2022 (FY22).

The company registered digital sales of £5.8bn, an underlying profit before tax of £371m and a 5.3% increase in statutory group sales, excluding value-added tax (VAT).

Sainsbury’s general merchandise sales for the period fell by 5.8% against H1 2021.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts said: “We are making good progress delivering our plan to put food back at the heart of Sainsbury’s.

“We have grown market share through improving value for customers, tripling our rate of food innovation, and delivering customer satisfaction ahead of our key competitors.”

“Our industry faces labour and supply chain challenges. However, our scale, advanced cost saving programme, logistics operations and strong supplier relationships put us in a good position as we head into Christmas.”

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In a separate development, Sainsbury’s has opened a convenience store on Brighton Road as part of its commitment to boosting the local economy in South Croydon.

The company converted a vacant unit opposite the grounds of Whitgift House and Whitgift School into a fully equipped Sainsbury’s Local over a five-week period.

The 2,640ft² store offers a selection of fresh food, fruit and vegetables, as well as both branded and own-brand groceries, frozen food and household items.

It also features fresh bread and pastries, a self-service Costa coffee machine and six parking spaces.

The Brighton Road store will employ 22 colleagues.

Croydon Brighton road local store manager John Corps said: “We’re very pleased with our new store and everything it has to offer and we’re sure our new customers will be too.

“Born and raised in Croydon myself, I’m really looking forward to making a difference in my local community as we help customers prepare for Christmas and other festivities at this busy time of year.”