Leading UK supermarket Sainsbury's has announced significant growth in profits for the 12 months leading up to March 15th.
The grocery retailer has seen pre-tax profits rise by 16.3 per cent, increasing from £772 million in 2013 to £898 million.
Chairman of the store David Tyler commented: "Against a challenging backdrop, Sainsbury's has delivered another year of improving profits and our market share remains at its highest level for a decade."
Sainsbury's achieved success in a number of areas, with its own-brand range performing particularly well. The supermarket's by Sainsbury's line now includes more than 7,000 products, while its Taste the Difference range experienced annual sales exceeding £1.1 billion.
The store expanded its convenience outlets by a further 91 during the last year, with these contributing approximately 19 per cent to the overall sales growth.
In addition to this, Sainsbury's extended six of its supermarkets and opened 13 brand new stores throughout the year, adding one million sq ft of retail space to its portfolio.
It wasn't just groceries that experienced sales growth, as those relating to the company's general merchandise and clothing ranges increased at more than double the rate of food.
Non-food products are now on sale at 400 stores, with 34 per cent of the supermarket's customers being able to access them within a 15-minute drive. This is a significant figure, as only 11 per cent of consumers could do this six years ago.
Despite this success, like-for-like sales - excluding fuel - increased by only 0.2 per cent.
However, most of the supermarket's growth has been attributed to chief executive Justin King, as customer transactions have increased from ten million to 24 million a week under his management.
He is due to step down from his role this summer after ten years, with Mr Tyler calling him "a truly exceptional leader".
Mr King commented: "In a competitive retail environment we have focused on delivering high quality, affordable own-brand products across all our channels, helping customers to Live Well for Less."