Britain's fourth-largest supermarket chain Safeway admitted yesterday [Tuesday] that it has made a sluggish start to its fiscal 2002. The company saw an 11% increase in annual pre-tax profits to £355m (US$515.6m) for the full year ended 30 March, in line with market forecasts of £350m to £358m but still lagging major rivals. Safeway, which has seen its stock fall 8% in the last year, is behind sector giants Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda in terms of both sales growth and share price performance.