Marks & Spencer has shelved plans to get into online grocery as it believes it would make no money, despite rivals racing to offer bigger, better services.

The retailer, which this week announced a 4.7% increase in food sales for the second quarter and 5.3% for the first half, also plans to shake up its food advertising next year and undertake a widespread roll-out of self-scan tills throughout its stores. Such tills are currently in operation in selected stores as part of a trial.

An online grocery shop was not on the agenda, said Steven Sharp, director of marketing, e-commerce, store design and development. "We have a huge amount of other things to concentrate on. No one is making any money from it."

He said he did not fear falling behind rivals. M&S's launch of a superior non food website next year, thanks to Amazon's collaboration, does have potential to be rolled out for food. "But it is not happening, there is no date at all," he said.

This represents a shift in mindset for M&S as chief executive Stuart Rose had earlier indicated online grocery was on the agenda. "It's the sort of service customers expect from M&S in the 21st century," he told the Evening Standard in 2005.

Meanwhile, M&S's Christmas food ads were being worked on, said Sharp. They will be a continuation of its 'This is not just food' voice-only ads. However, this style of ad, which has run since Easter 2005, will undergo a revamp next year.

The campaign, imitated by a number of retailers, has evoked mixed responses from customers.

"We've found there is a band of people who are bored by it, but others are asking when it will be on so they can record it," said Sharp. "Most people really like it."

At the results launch this week, Rose also announced M&S's partnership with BP Connect forecourts was ready for roll out, with 200 locations earmarked as suitable for Simply Food.

A further eight Simply Food stores will open this year with four more early next year at a development cost of £30m, following its acquisition of 12 stores from Somerfield.

M&S now has 187 Simply Foods but plans more than 400 in total.

As a result of its ambitious expansion plans, which will add 20%-25% additional space in the next five years for food, Rose believes its 4% market share could comfortably grow to 5%.

Rose added he was confident he had a robust business plan. But he admitted there were potential dangers. "We mustn't get arrogant. There's also a danger we could get diverted into other sexy projects. But our feet are on the ground."

M&S results

Half year group sales up 11% to £3.9bn

HY profit-before-tax up 32.2% to £405.1m

Quarter 2 total food sales up 10.9%

Q2 like-for-like food sales up 4.7%

Food market share up 3.8% to 4% (TNS)