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Solid first half performance for Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's saw like-for-like sales grow 3.9%, excluding fuel, and total sales rise 7.6% to £10.8 billion for the 28 weeks to October 4.

Profit before tax at Sainsbury's rose from £232 million to £258m during the period.

This is the 15th consecutive quarter that Sainsbury's has posted like-for-like sales growth.

Sainsbury's is on track for an increase of 4% in gross space this year after unveiling a 30,000 sq ft non-food offer in April.

Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King said: "Our universal customer appeal has been fundamental to our sustained performance and we have continued to invest in both product quality and competitive pricing. Sainsbury's is catering for, and appealing to, the full range of customer needs and budgets."

He added: "We have continued to invest in our five areas of focus for growth. These build and stretch our lead in food, accelerate the development of non-food ranges, extend the reach of our brand, grow our store estate and actively manage our property assets. Following a review of our convenience operation we are also today announcing plans to accelerate growth in this area of our business."

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