Claims that the grocery sector may be profiteering from high inflation by keeping prices artificially high were given short shrift by Associated British Foods yesterday (The Times £). Eoin Tonge, the food and retail group’s finance director, said: “The UK has got to be one of the most competitive retail landscapes in the world. There aren’t too many places to hide. Everyone knows how grocery works, that’s the world you live in.”

The owner of Primark has raised its profit outlook for the year as sales at the discount chain were lifted by higher prices and strong demand for summer clothes despite a squeeze on household incomes (Financial Times £).

The conglomerate, which is controlled by the billionaire Weston family, said it now expected adjusted operating profit for the full year to be “moderately ahead” of last year when it rose 22% to £1.43bn (The Times £).

Associated British Foods, which also owns Ovaltine as well as a sugar business, said group sales rose by 16% to £4.7bn in the three months to 27 May (The Guardian).

The FTSE 100 firm flagged ‘particularly strong’ sales of spring and summer clothes, accessories, as well as health and beauty products (Mail).

The Tempus shares column in The Times (£) gives ABF a ‘buy’ rating, writing that the shares look too cheap given progress on sales and longer-term expansion potential.

A fund chaired by former UK chancellor George Osborne and backed by Italy’s Agnelli family has increased its stake in online supermarket and robotics company Ocado to above the 5% disclosure threshold, according to regulatory filings (Financial Times £).

The Mail points out the purchase was a day after Ocado shares jumped 32% amid speculation that suitors, including Amazon, were preparing a takeover bid.

Lingotto, based in London, was created in May as a successor to the Agnelli family’s investment vehicle Exor Capital, with Osborne, the former chancellor, brought in to head the board (The Times £).

Sainsbury’s plans to make another £15m of price cuts on essential staples as millions of Britons continue to be impacted by the cost-of-living crisis (Mail).

Supermarket executives will be questioned by MPs on Tuesday over why food prices are still rising as some wholesale costs are falling (BBC News).

Britain’s biggest retailers have said shop price inflation is easing ahead of a crunch meeting with MPs on Tuesday over the soaring cost of groceries, but warned food prices were continuing to rise at near record rates (The Guardian).

UK shop price inflation slowed in June helped by a second consecutive monthly decline in the growth of food prices, according to the latest industry data (Financial Times £).

The latest index of food prices compiled by the British Retail Consortium showed the annual food inflation rate easing for a second month to 14.6% this month from 15.4% in May and 15.7% in April (The Times £).

The UK’s post-Brexit border strategy risks further pushing up food prices, according representatives of Britain’s fresh produce industry (The Guardian).

UK retailers suffered another month of falling sales in June as slow economic growth stretched household finances, according to the latest CBI monthly survey (The Times £).

More than a third of personal care products, such as shampoos and body washes, marketed as hypoallergenic at Boots and Superdrug have been found to contain common skin allergens, research shows (The Guardian).