Sainsbury, the UK’s second-largest supermarket group, admitted it is still losing money on its stores in Egypt and is “reviewing all strategic options for exposure to this region.” The group’s Egyptian operations reported turnover worth £40.5m in the April-October period, generating operating losses of £10.2m, higher than forecast. The group blamed its troubles in Egypt on the delayed launch of a flagship Cairo store and unspecified “difficulties in its operating environment.” This undoubtedly refers to the anger manifested by Egyptians at the alleged involvement of Israelis in Sainsbury’s operation.

What will Sainsbury do? It is not out of the question that the group withdraw from Egypt altogether, or at least substantially reduce its involvement in the troubled market. Alternatively, the group could seek a joint venture partner to reinforce its local credibility, although no potential candidate immediately springs to mind. recently ran a feature on the difficulties confronting Western food retailers in Egypt – click here to read it: