Alliance Boots has hailed an “encouraging” start to its fledgling combination with Waitrose in its latest half-yearly results.

The high street chemist now sells Waitrose food in 19 of its stores, including seven selling an extended range featuring Essential Waitrose products. And Waitrose sells Boots’ health and beauty products in a dozen of its supermarkets.

Boots said health and beauty sales were up 1.8% on a like-for-like basis for the six months to 30 September. That contributed to an overall improvement in turnover for the period of 6%.

“Boots has delivered a good performance in a difficult UK consumer environment and we have increased market share in our core health and beauty categories,” said group chief executive Andy Hornby.

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