By Jonathan Davies

Sainsbury's has reported a loss of £72 million for the year to the end of March.

The loss, Sainsbury's first in 10 years, comes as a result of one-off costs and a write-down in the value of some stores. Excluding one-off costs, underlying profits were down 14.7% to £681m.

Like-for-like sales, which exclude new stores and fuel, were down 1.9%.

Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe said: "The UK marketplace is changing faster than at any time in the past 30 years which has impacted our profits, like-for-like sales and market share."

The results provide further evidence of the supermarket price war. Last month, Tesco reported an annual loss of £6.4bn. It comes as a result of growing pressure from budget supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl.

Paul Thomas of the retail consultancy Retail Remedy, said: “Sainsbury’s has become the retail world’s squeezed middle.

“What began as gentle pressure from both above and below has quickly morphed into an alarming exodus of customers — sending the brand spinning into a full-blown identity crisis.

“With its high-end customers — who have long formed its bedrock — increasingly trading up to the on-form Waitrose and M&S, and its more price-conscious shoppers being lured away by tough price competition, Sainsbury’s proposition is suddenly looking less unique."