By Marcus Leach

Sainsbury's have announced an increase in sales and market share in what it has declared a 'good year'.

Pre-tax profit for the year to 17 March fell to £799m, down from the £827m the company made a year earlier, due in part to increased pension costs and lower profits on property sales.

However, underlying profit rose by 7% to £712m, slightly higher than analysts had expected.

"We are succeeding by understanding what our customers want, supporting and inspiring them to Live Well For Less," Justin King, Chief Executive said.

"Delivering quality and value is a compelling offer, in tune with what today's savvy shoppers want. Brand Match, combined with our use of coupon-at-till, has improved Sainsbury's price perception whilst retaining the benefits of our heritage in quality and service. We have continued to invest in the future of the business, including opening a further 1.4 million sq ft of gross space, whilst managing costs and increasing net underlying margins.

"Whilst the wider economic situation remains uncertain, we remain confident that our clear strategy, market insight and strong values will enable us to make further progress both in our core food and non-food businesses, as well as new channels and services in the year ahead."

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