The grocer said it made pre-tax profits of£118 million in the six months to October 8, while like-for-like sales, excluding petrol, were up by 2.1 per cent. However, the group's banking arm made a loss of£5 million in the first half.
Chairman Philip Hampton said: 'We are pleased with the progress we have made in the first half of the year. While it is still early days in our recovery programme, we are on track and the management team is focused on delivering the plans outlined in October 2004.'
Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King (pictured) said: 'While the customer experience is much improved, we still need to work on achieving consistency across all our stores, and at an acceptable cost. We still have a lot of work to do behind the scenes to ensure that we remain on track.'
King launched the Make Sainsbury's Great Again recovery plan to strive to regain market share. He said in October that the campaign was the 'tip of the iceberg' in changes designed to encourage£2.5 billion sales growth by March 2008.