Despite reports to the contrary, a spokesman for Safeway has said that the company is not set to issue a profit warning.

Taylor Nelson Sofres recently published industry market share data that has led to speculation that Safeway's sales growth might be weakening. Despite the fact that the company reported in July that its sales growth had risen this year, it has in fact risen by a smaller percentage than it had risen by the same point last year. Safeway still expects to meet estimates for the half-year and full-year.

Safeway is Britain's fourth-largest supermarket group, with an estimated annual pre-tax profit of £379m (US$580m). Recent speculation about a bid from Asda, owned by the retail giant Wal-Mart, had halted the fall in share prices that Safeway had been experiencing since July (for more information on this story, members click here).

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