Supermarket group Morrisons has reported a surge in first half profits, as it benefits from business improvements and its value credentials.

The grocer generated a 12.8 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to£309 million, on sales up 13.5 per cent to£7.1 billion. Like-for-likes for the period rose 7.6 per cent.

Morrisons reported that “hard-hitting deals”, such as offering a basket of everyday products at 50p each, had been possible because of its business model.

Morrisons said: “The latter promotion was well-supported by our manufacturing businesses, which were able to deliver significant volume increases at very short notice. This is without doubt a unique advantage enjoyed by Morrisons.

“The intense price competition and promotional activity in the period meant that not all input costs inflation could be passed on in higher retail prices. However, our strong sales momentum and progress in our various 2010 improvement initiatives allowed us to deliver our profit expectations overall.”

Morrisons was confident of meeting full-year profit expectations, saying: “We fully expect the second half to be highly competitive as disposable incomes come under further pressure and we will continue to use our sales momentum to fund price investment and maintain a strong competitive position.”