Sainsbury’s has given its strongest indication yet that it will look abroad for the next major phase of its growth - with India likely to be next on the agenda.

“We are looking in general at what international can bring," development director Darren Shapland said yesterday.

"India we will come on to look at. We are not investing resources in it yet [but] will probably look at that and some other developing markets."

Sainsbury's has previously indicated the Far East was its most likely area of expansion.

In September Shapland was dispatched to China on a fact-finding mission, in the latest move by the supermarket to identify overseas opportunities. That came after Michael Hodgson was posted to Shanghai in the new role of international trading strategy chief.

Shapland was speaking as the supermarket unveiled its first-half results. Sainsbury’s confirmed an 8% rise in operating profits to £332m. Like-for-like sales were up 2% over the 28 weeks to 2 October.

Read more
Sainsbury’s steps up China focus (27 September 2010)
Sainsbury’s Hodgson heads for Shanghai to spot opportunities (10 July 2010)
Shapland could take Sainsbury’s into China (22 June 2010)