Supermarket chain Morrisons went some way to put the last few months of profit warnings and boardroom scuffles behind it as it revealed a positive half-year of trading.

In a trading update released to the City this morning, Morrisons said that total like-for-like sales for the continuing business for the half-year to end July 24 had increased by 5%.

Excluding fuel, like-for-like sales were up 2.6%.

The group added that sales had increased by 11.6%, or 10.9% excluding fuel, in Safeway stores converted to the Morrisons format, and like-for-like sales at Safeway stores awaiting conversion were up 3.4% excluding fuel.

Morrisons also said that it was on track to complete the conversion process by late November 2005, with 148 stores converted so far.

However, the group said that it "remains comfortable" with its profits guidance issued last month of £50m to £150m, well below analysts’ expectations of £225m to £275m.