Morrisons has reported a 98.4% increase in half-year pre-tax profit to £266.3m on sales up 2.8% to £6bn.

Like-for-like sales for the 25 weeks to 29 July rose 2.7%, boosted by growth in stores converted from Safeway to Morrisons, the retailer said.

CEO Marc Bolland added that its optimisation plan, launched last year, was on track and “delivering significant improved profits through margin gains and management of our cost base”.

“We have made a strong start to our objective of becoming the food specialist for everyone with a positive customer response to our rebranding and the many developments in store,” he said.

The supermarket chain plans to increase its marketing activities and price investment in the second half of the year but warned that there would be further commodity cost price rises.