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Boost for Sainsbury's after Christmas sales rise

Boost for Sainsbury's after Christmas sales rise

Business
Sainsbury's has upgraded its profit outlook after reporting a 1.1% rise in like-for-like sales over the Christmas period.The supermarket group, which also owns Argos, was lifted by growth in grocery and clothing sales though general merchandise revenues were down for the 15 weeks to 6 January, in what was described as a "challenging" market.It appeared to mirror a trend across the sector for squeezed households to focus on essentials such as food while cutting back on presents and other non-food items.Sainsbury's said it remained cautious about the consumer environment but that, thanks to better than expected savings following its 2016 takeover of Argos, full year profits should be "moderately" ahead of market expectations.Shares were up more than 2% in early trading.Chief executive Mike C...