Sainsbury's profits rise

Sainsbury's profits have climbed 20% according to its latest half-year results.

Pre-tax profit hit £232m in the 28 weeks to 6 October, compared with £194m in the same period a year ago.

Like-for-like sales were up 4% excluding fuel, while total sales rose 4.7% to £9,998m.

Last week, the Qatari-backed investment fund, Delta Two, was reported to have abandoned its takeover bid for the chain.

"These results demonstrate our continued ability to grow the business. Sales growth has remained ahead of the market," Sainsbury's said.

Chief executive Justin King added that while there were tighter constraints on current consumer spending, Sainsbury's had a strong Christmas offering.