Second quarter trading statement

  • First half like-for-like sales growth 5.7%
  • Second quarter like-for-like sales growth 5.4%
  • Eighth successive quarter of strong like-for-like growth
Our strong trading performance has continued during the second quarter. Like – for – like sales grew by 5.4% during the 16 weeks to 13 October 2001, driven by a combination of rising customer numbers and average spend, and represents the eighth consecutive quarter in which growth has exceeded 5%. Like – for – like sales growth for the first half as a whole was 5.7%. Total sales in the second quarter grew by 5.6%, reflecting our strategic focus on existing stores and the fact that only two new stores have opened in the last 18 months; our very successful new concept stores at Wimbledon and Woking, the former replacing an existing store.

The implementation of Phase II of our strategy, our store reformatting programme, is on track. We are now accelerating store investment as planned with 33 stores currently undergoing refit. The early performance of our reformatted stores in terms of customer perception, sales growth and product mix gives us confidence that this programme will deliver good returns. Our first hypermarket will open in Plymouth in a few weeks’ time.

Carlos Criado-Perez, Chief Executive, commented:

‘The second phase of our plan for the transformation of Safeway is going very well and we are totally committed to achieving the significant benefits which rolling out our new formats can deliver, both for our customers and our shareholders. We have maintained our momentum despite the initial costs of accelerating the pace of store reformatting, and we look forward to delivering solid results on 22 November.’