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Dow Jones Newswires: Sainsbury warns of earnings decline on inflation hit

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J Sainsbury PLC reported Thursday a swing to a pretax profit for fiscal 2022, beating market expectations, but said it expects a significant hit to underlying pretax profit this year due to the effects of inflationary pressures.

The British grocer
SBRY,
-5.86%

posted a pretax profit for the year ended March 5 of 854 million pounds ($1.07 billion) compared with a loss of GBP164 million a year earlier.

The FTSE 100-listed company’s underlying pretax profit rose to GBP730 million from GBP356 million for the previous year. This compares with market views for a rise to GBP726.6 million, taken from FactSet and based on nine analysts’ forecasts. In January the company said it expected the metric to increase to at least GBP720 million, up from its previous reported guidance of at least GBP660 million.

Regarding its outlook for fiscal 2023, the company said it expects to post an underlying pretax profit of between GBP630 million and GBP690 million.

“The year ahead will be impacted by significant external pressures and uncertainties, including higher operating cost inflation and cost of living pressures impacting customers’ disposable incomes,” the company said, adding that it is focused on lowering prices.

Revenue excluding VAT rose to GBP29.90 billion from GBP29.05 billion for fiscal 2021. Revenue was expected to increase to GBP29.74 billion, according to FactSet and based on nine analysts’ estimates.

The board has declared a final dividend of 13.1 pence a share. It had been expected to post a full-year payout to 12.30 pence, according to FactSet and based on 13 analysts’ forecasts.

Write to Sabela Ojea at sabela.ojea@wsj.com; @sabelaojeaguix

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