April 30, 2018 / 6:18 AM / 7 months ago

BRIEF-Sainsbury's FY profit returns to growth, on track to meet forecasts for 2018/19

April 30 (Reuters) - J Sainsbury Plc:

* TOTAL DIVIDEND 10.2 PENCEPER SHARE

* FY UNDERLYING PRETAX PROFIT ROSE 1.4 PERCENT TO 589 MILLION STG

* FINAL DIVIDEND 7.1 PENCEPER SHARE

* UNDERLYING PROFIT BEFORE TAX £589 MILLION, A RETURN TO GROWTH; H2 PROFIT INCREASE OF 11 PER CENT

* STRONG CASH GENERATION WITH FREE CASH FLOW OF £432 MILLION, UP £113 MILLION IN YEAR

* NET DEBT REDUCED BY £113 MILLION TO £1,364 MILLION. TARGETING TO REDUCE NET DEBT BY A FURTHER £100 MILLION IN 2018/19

* DELIVERY OF £185 MILLION COST SAVINGS IN YEAR, BRINGING TOTAL TO £540 MILLION OVER THREE YEARS

* WILL DELIVER FURTHER COST SAVINGS OF AT LEAST £500 MILLION OVER NEXT THREE YEARS TO 2020/21

* UNDERLYING EARNINGS PER SHARE DECREASED SIX PER CENT TO 20.4 PENCE PER SHARE

* TO PAY A FINAL DIVIDEND OF 7.1 PENCE PER SHARE, AN INCREASE OF EIGHT PER CENT

* PROFIT EXPECTATION FOR 2018/19 IS IN LINE WITH CURRENT MARKET CONSENSUS OF £629 MILLION Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting By UK Bureau)

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