Supermarket group Morrisons is to test convenience stores next year and is investigating whether also to begin trading online.

The initiatives are the first revealed by new chief executive Dalton Philips, and more are likely to follow.

Morrisons posted first-half underlying profit up 14% to £410m on sales ahead 9.1% to £8.1bn. Like-for-likes edged up 0.9% over the six months to August 1 in what the retailer described as a “tight” market.

Philips said he had spent the last six months getting to know the business, which he has found to be a “world class retailer” that can make its presence felt further.

He said: “There are many opportunities ahead to drive our top line, increase efficiencies and to capture growth. I am determined to make Morrisons better than ever.”

The retailer did not detail its internet and c-store plans but said it was reviewing the opportunities. “Morrisons’ past success has been built on being different in the offer we bring to customers and this will continue in any new areas for business development,” the grocer reported.

Philips will also initiate a range of programmes to improve Morrisons’s existing operations.

The retailer said: “These include initiatives to emphasise our fresh food credentials, a focus on creating powerful own-label brands, activities to improve our customer service delivery and work to use our new systems to our advantage in increasing productivity, reducing cost and improving our use of analytical tools.”

The retailer expects “low market growth” to continue during the second half of the year but was confident of meeting profit expectations.