Sainsbury’s has unveiled surging profits for the past year after seeing a million extra customers a week pass through its tills.

Pre-tax profits at the supermarket giant grew by 12.8% to £827m in the year to 19 March.

Like-for-like sales grew by 2.3% over the year as a whole, with Sainsbury’s serving a record 21 million customers a week. Total sales, including fuel and VAT, were up 7.1% to a new high of £22.94bn.

“Customer numbers are at an all-time high of 21 million transactions every week, which is up one million on last year,” said chief executive Justin King. He called the performance “a clear indication of our growing universal customer appeal across all channels”.

Sainsbury’s said it would be paying staff bonuses totalling £60m as a result of the results.

King added: “Strong sales growth, combined with productivity savings and tight control on operating costs, have helped to deliver good profit growth. [But] we expect the economic environment to remain uncertain over the coming year.”

The results come in the week Sainsbury's announced the suprise departure this summer of development director Darren Shapland, who was widely regarded as a potential successor to King as chief executive.

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