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Sainsbury's sales boosted amid 'very competitive' market

The chain has a share of around 16.9% of the UK supermarket sector. Credit: PA

Sainsbury's has said like-for-like sales edged 0.1% higher over its Christmas quarter, but warned the market remains "very competitive" and the impact of the pound on prices was "uncertain".

Bosses at the UK's second biggest supermarket chain said it delivered a "good" Christmas performance in the 15 weeks to January 7, with groceries sales online growing by over 9%.

Robust Black Friday trading also helped its recent Argos acquisition notch up a 4% hike in like-for-like sales.

The market remains very competitive and the impact of the devaluation of sterling remains uncertain.

However, we are well placed to navigate the external environment and remain focused on delivering our strategy."

– Mike Coupe, Group Chief Executive

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Southern Rail strike: Commuters voice frustration

Rail commuters are suffering a fresh bout of chaos today as Southern Railway train drivers begin new strike action.

It is the latest industrial action by the Aslef union in a long-running dispute over driver-only trains.

Thousands of rail passengers have been told not to travel at all this week, with the strike action also affecting Wednesday and Friday.

Many commuters have expressed their anger and frustration on social media.

Southern is providing limited replacement bus and coach services for essential travel from a number of its stations.

For more information and advice on compensation click here.

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Morrisons reports 2.9% surge in sales over Christmas

Morrisons has reported a 2.9% increase in sales over Christmas. Credit: PA

Supermarket Morrisons reported a 2.9% surge in like-for-like sales excluding VAT and fuel for the nine weeks to January 1, marking the group's best performance for seven years.

The chain upped its full-year profit outlook after the better-than-expected sales hike for the nine weeks to January 1, pencilling in underlying pre-tax profits of between £330 million to £340 million.

Nuclear workers to be balloted for strikes in pensions row

Staff at Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria after among the nuclear workers set to be balloted for strike action. Credit: PA

Thousands of nuclear workers across the UK are to be balloted for strikes in a row over pensions.

Around 16,000 workers from several trade unions will vote on whether to organise walkouts over Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's plans to make £660 million savings.

The workers are based at the following sites:

  • Sellafield (Cumbria)
  • Magnox (Anglesey)
  • Ayrshire
  • Dorset
  • Dumfriesshire
  • Essex
  • Gloucestershire
  • Gwynedd
  • Kent
  • Oxfordshire
  • Somerset
  • Suffolk
  • Direct Rail Services (Cumbria)
  • Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (Caithness)
  • Low Level Waste Repository (Cumbria)
  • International Nuclear Services (Cumbria, Warrington)

The unions said the Government's expectation is for final salary pension schemes in place across the NDA estate to be reformed by April 2018.

Justin Bowden, national officer of the GMB, said action was proposed as the Government was "determined to break its promises" and was "not prepared to negotiate".

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