Morrisons claims it is attracting half a million more bargain-hunting customers a week than it was six months ago. The retailer, which revealed sales were growing faster in London than anywhere else in the country, announced pre-tax profit up 12.8% to £309m on turnover up 13.5% to £7.1bn for the 26 weeks to 3 August.

“We have seen a growth in our value own label over the past seven months,” said chief executive Marc Bolland. “Consumers are switching from retailer to retailer in search of value.

“We are gaining from all our competitors. I don’t believe discounters are a threat – we offer the same value but with more fresh.” Bolland also said that Morrisons was doing well outside its traditional heartland. “Progress has been made in Scotland and the south, particularly in London. The growth rate in London is above 10% like-for-like.”

Morrisons planned to extend its range of tertiary brands such as Fresh Choice Bacon, he said, adding that its non-food range was due to be revamped by the spring. Morrisons was also ­planning to open eight stores during the second half of this year, he said.

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