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Sainsbury's raises £432m for expansion plans

Supermarket chain J Sainsbury has raised £432 million from share and bond issues for an accelerated expansion drive in the North of England, Scotland and Wales.

The retailer wants to capitalise on the availability of sites in the property and construction industries due to the economic downturn.

It now wants to add 15 per cent more selling space by March 2011. The previous target was 10 per cent.

About 60 per cent of the funds raised will be used on new stores and the rest will be spent on extensions.

Sainsbury’s reported a 7.8 per cent increase in first-quarter like-for-like sales for the 12 weeks to 13 June. Rivals Tesco reported like-for-like sales up 4.3 per cent in the first three months of its financial year on Tuesday.