Supermarket and department store operator SM Investments reported its retail division’s profits were up 25% to PHP2.8bn (£39m) in the first half. The growth was attributed to increased operational efficiency and economies of scale resulting from expansion. Total sales were up 12% to PHP63.4bn (£883m). President Harley Sy said: “We are pleased to report that SM exceeded its growth targets as all our core businesses rode on the strength of the Philippine economy.”