The loss announced in the retailer’s accounts for the year to March 14, 2015, compares to a profit of £898m last year.
Under pressure from discount stores, Aldi and Lidl, and facing competition from convenience stores, Sainsbury’s losses might be considered mild compared to Morrisons £792m loss and Tesco’s massive £6.4bn deficit.
Describing Sainsbury’s as a business built on strong foundations, chairman David Tyler promised significant cost savings and said: “With our grocery business at the core, we are confident that we can grow shareholder value through our increasingly multi-channel offer, and by growing businesses across financial services, convenience, online, clothing and general merchandise.”
Chief executive Mike Coupe said: “The UK marketplace is changing faster than at any time in the past 30 years which has impacted our profits, like-for-like sales and market share. However, we are making good progress with our strategy, and our investment in price and quality is showing encouraging early signs of volume and transaction growth.”