J Sainsbury Lifts Dividend by 7%

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LONDON -- The shares of J Sainsbury (ISE: SBRY.L) (NASDAQOTH: JSAIY) have slipped 2.25% in London trading despite the supermarket revealing a 7% lift to its half-year dividend.

The payout news came alongside interim results showing that underlying profit at the FTSE 100 member was up 5% to 373 million pounds. Sainsbury said its total sales advanced 4% to 13.4 billion pounds during the six months to September, with like-for-like sales improving 1.7% to notch up 31 consecutive quarters of underlying sales growth. The supermarket also claimed it had outperformed its rivals during the half year and that its 16.7% market share was now the firm's highest for nearly a decade.

The group's own labels helped the performance, with the "Taste the Difference" food range advancing its sales by 10% and the Tu clothing range scoring its best sales day ever.


David Tyler, the chairman of Sainsbury, said, "Sainsbury's has made a strong start to the year, delivering continued outperformance in what has remained a challenging market."

Justin King, the group's chief executive, added: "We continue to succeed by remaining focused on delivering quality products, best-in-class service and value for our customers, without compromise. ... Our long-standing consistent strategy, combined with our customer insight and strong value-driven culture, will continue to deliver for customers, colleagues and shareholders."

Prior to today, City experts reckoned current-year earnings could top 29 pence per share and that its 12-month dividend may be nearly 17 pence per share. Such projections suggest the shares trade at less than 12 times possible profit and offer a potential income of almost 5%.

Supported by today's dividend lift, Sainsbury looks to be one of a number of FTSE large caps that provide a payout income well ahead of what you can expect to receive from a standard savings account. If you are seeking other high-dividend possibilities, this special free report reviews the favorite income stocks held by Neil Woodford -- the City fund manager who thrashed the FTSE 100 during the 15 years to 2011 by favoring dividend-paying blue chips. Just click here to download these Neil Woodford share ideas today.

The article J Sainsbury Lifts Dividend by 7% originally appeared on Fool.com.

Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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