After Sainsbury’s issued its annual results yesterday most of the papers concentrate on CEO Mike Coupe’s comments that the market to remain competitive for the “foreseeable future” as it undershot analysts’ profit expectations. (The Financial Times £, The Telegraph)

The Guardian writes that Sainsbury’s 14% drop in annual profits comes after it was forced to slash prices to compete with the rise of the discounters, while The Daily Mail points to a “high street crisis” amidst Sainsbury’s disappointing earnings and Next’s drop in sales announced yesterday.

However, commentary seems more upbeat. Alex Brummer in The Daily Mail float the idea that Sainsbury’s are grocery’s Leicester City writing: “To still be delivering underlying profits of £587million when profit margins are on a nasty downward trend is an achievement.”

Nils Pratley in The Guardian writes: “There’s nothing wrong with Coupe and co’s strategy – keep plugging away in food and experiment elsewhere – but the warning that “the market is competitive, and it will remain so for the foreseeable future” should be taken literally.”

In The Times (£) Patrick Hosking writes: “Mike Coupe, the thoughtful chief executive of J Sainsbury, likes to display two charts in his investor presentations. They cropped up again yesterday as he tried to put a positive gloss on a patchy set of annual results that sent his share price down by 6%”

The BHS saga rumbles ever-onwards. This morning’s headlines include: “Sir Philip Green agrees to be quizzed over BHS without wife” (The Financial Times £), “Green ‘liable for BHS millions’” (The Times £), “MPs examining BHS offer to cooperate with investigators” (The Guardian) and “’I’ll clear my name’ says Playboy who sunk BHS” (The Daily Mail)

The FT’s Lex column says their tax arrangements mean both Sir Philip Green and his wife “have questions to answer. It writes: “Sir Philip runs the couple’s extensive UK retail businesses. But she is the main owner. That division of responsibility, combined with her status as a Monaco resident, must have reduced the family’s UK income tax bill by a substantial sum.” (The Financial Times £)

Elsewhere, The European Court of Justice has upheld new EU regulations that require tobacco companies to cover two-thirds of cigarette packets with health warnings, stating that the rules are “appropriate and necessary” to reduce smoking (The Financial Times £). New EU rules that ban menthol cigarettes and impose standard packaging on tobacco will be brought in over the next 12 months after three separate legal challenges were dismissed by the European Court of Justice. (The Times £)

A little more three years after Australia introduced plain packaging for cigarette products, and on the eve of the introduction in the UK of non-branded packs carrying prominent health warnings, Australia says the plain packaging experiment is working well. (The Financial Times £)

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, has reported disappointing first-quarter earnings after “one of its most challenging quarters in many years” in Brazil. The Belgian-Brazilian brewer also said on Wednesday that its planned £71bn takeover of SABMiller is on track to be completed by the end of the year. (The Financial Times £)

AB InBev may be close to a £70 billion-plus takeover of its biggest rival, but the cost of financing that deal took the fizz out of first-quarter trading. (The Times £)

Imperial Brands has reported a dip in tobacco volumes and a sharp fall in pre-tax profit for the first half of its financial year, despite strong sales of premium cigars and Winston cigarettes. (The Financial Times £)

FTSE 100 tobacco giant Imperial Brands is eyeing up a return to Cuba to make high-end cigars now that the communist island- state has been opened for business once more. (The Daily Mail)