For the 28 weeks to 28 September 2013, the chain’s pre-tax profit increased 9.1% to £433m from last year’s £397m.

Underlying profit before tax, which excluded certain items, was £400m, compared to last year’s £374m.

The chain’s total sales, including value added tax or VAT and fuel, grew 4.4% in first half to £13.95bn from £13.37bn a year ago.

Revenue excluding VAT, but including fuel, increased 4.3% to £12.68bn. Total sales including VAT, excluding fuel, were up 4%, as like-for-like sales rose 1.4%.

The company noted that it outperformed the market, and was the only major supermarket to increase market share – up by 13 basis points to 16.8%.

Sainsbury‘s chief executive Justin King said, "Whilst customers’ budgets remain tight and any recovery in the economy may take time to take effect, our consistent strategy and strong values-driven culture mean we are well placed to continue to deliver for customers, colleagues and shareholders."

Sainsbury’s operates a range of store formats, including convenience and supermarkets that offer various food and non-food products and services primarily under the Sainsbury’s brand. The company also provides an Internet-based home delivery shopping service.

Sainsbury’s offers its products under Basics, Be Good to Yourself, Taste the difference, TU and TU home brands. It operates banners such as Bells Stores, Jacksons Stores, JB Beaumont, SL Shaw, and Culcheth Provision Stores.