British supermarket Sainsbury's said its full-year profit was set to exceed analysts' average forecast, despite the firm posting a seventh straight quarter of falling underlying sales.
The grocer said on Wednesday it now expected its 2015-16 underlying profit before tax to be moderately ahead of the published consensus of £548 million ($831 million) if current market trends continue. That would be down from £681 million made in the 2014-15 year.
Sainsbury's has shown greater resilience to the rise of German discounters Aldi and Lidl than its big four rivals, market leader Tesco, Wal-Mart's Asda and Morrisons , helped by the continued expansion of its convenience store estate.
However, its sales at stores open over a year still fell 1.1 percent, excluding fuel, in the 16 weeks to Sept. 26, its fiscal second quarter, hurt by fierce competition with rivals that has contributed to ongoing price deflation.
That compared with analysts' average forecast of a decline of 1.3 percent and a fall of 2.1 percent in the previous quarter.