SAINSBURY’S has posted pre-tax profits of £898 million for the year to March 15, up 16.3 per cent on last year.

Like-for-like sales, however, were up just 0.2 per cent.Outgoing chief executive Justin King said: “While the general economic outlook is showing some signs of improvement, conditions in the food retail sector are likely to remain challenging for the foreseeable future as customers continue to spend cautiously.

“We remain committed to investing for the future and continue to see significant opportunities for growth.”