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Sainsbury   Retail revenue was up 0.1%

Sainsbury's fourth quarter sales saved by Argos growth

SainsburySainsbury's like-for-like retail revenue fell in the fourth quarter but total group sales rose thanks to a strong showing from Argos.

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READ MORE Everything flat at Sainsbury in Q3

Sainsbury's retail revenue for the quarter ended March 11 was up 0.1%, excluding fuel sales, compared to last year, but LFL retail revenue fell 0.5%.

The supermarket's results were saved from a 3.8% increase in sales and a 4.3% increase in LFL revenue from Argos, which drove total group LFL revenue up 0.3%, excluding fuel.

This was slightly better than HSBC's forecast as it had expected the FTSE 100 company to report flat retail LFL revenue after Nielsen data showed the grocery market endured a weak January and a slightly better February. It had also expected a 1% fall in LFL group sales and LFL growth of 2% for Argos.

The FTSE 100 company's Tu clothing brand performed ahead of the expectations with sales up 5%.

CEO Mike Coupe said that Argos delivered another "strong quarter" of growth and the company is investing in digital services to enhance Argos' website and app.

He said that Sainsbury's Bank continued to deliver good growth and its personal loan offers sold well in the fourth quarter.

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