Shares in Sainsbury's fell 12.75p to finish on 413p yesterday despite the retailer revealing better than expected first-half pre-tax profit.

The supermarket chain reported a 20% increase in half-year pre-tax profit to £232m, on sales up 4.7% at £9.998bn. Underlying profit for the 28 weeks to 6 October rose 27% to £240m, while like-for-like sales rose 4% excluding fuel.

Analysts were disappointed the retailer did not come up with more ambitious plans for its property portfolio. It announced a joint venture with property company Land Securities to develop its property potential.

“It's a toe in the water and doesn't represent anything hugely strategic,” Clive Black, an analyst at Shore Capital told the Financial Times. “However, it shows they have been thinking about their property asset base.”