Round Up - Sainsbury's, BAE, Next

Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has reported a 0.9% drop in like-for-like annual sales and a 13.8% drop in underlying profit to £587million. The group, set to takeover high street chain Argos, said it had maintained market share and outperformed its peers thanks to improved product ranges, lower prices and demand for clothing and financial services. “We believe we have the right strategy in place and are taking the right decisions to achieve our vision to be the most trusted retailer where people love to work and shop,” said chief executive Mike Coupe.

Defence group BAE Systems expects earnings per share to be between 5% and 10% higher in 2016 despite “economic and geo-political conditions”. It has been helped by recent contracts with the Japanese and Swedish governments.

High street clothing retailer Next has blamed cold weather in March and April for hitting demand and sending full price sales down 0.9% between January 31 and May 2. It now expects full price sales for 2016 to range between a 3.5% dip and a 3.5% rise. Profits are expected to be between £748million and £852million compared to previous forecasts of between £784million and £858million. “We believe it is unlikely but possible that sales will deteriorate further,” the company said. “We have seen a significant improvement over the last few days as temperatures have risen. However, the poor performance of the last six weeks may be indicative of weaker underlying demand for clothing and a potentially wider slowdown in consumer spending.”