Somerfield has revealed an upturn in sales growth in the second half of the year, to back its argument that the group is worth more than the £509m offered by John Lovering and Bob Mackenzie last month.

The Bristol-based supermarket operator said to April 26 like-for-like sales at its Somerfield and Kwik Save chains for the year rose by 1% and by 1.3% in the second half. The group estimates total sales for the year to have been £5bn up 0.7%.

Somerfield fascia like-for-like sales growth for the full-year was 0.9% and up 1.5% in the second half. Kwik Save's like-for-like sales for the year came in at 1.2% % and up by 1% for the second half.

From the beginning of February to mid-March, the group said major product range changes were implemented at Kwik Save causing some disruption to availability. In that period, the value range Simply was introduced, a number of products were destocked and a new own label range was launched. Sales of the Simply range were up 37% in early March.

Fourteen new format Kwik Save stores have been opened and were “trading substantially ahead of their pre-refit sales".

Somerfield said a review of the business had confirmed the strength of both brands as well as identifying "considerable opportunities to reduce costs and improve efficiencies throughout the group."

It also plans to align its property portfolio “more closely to the core Somerfield and Kwik Save customer propositions to improve operating efficiencies as well as creating opportunities to realise its inherent value”.

Executive chairman, John von Spreckelsen, said: “The Somerfield business unit has delivered a solid overall improvement in performance and the new Kwik Save concept stores are showing substantial sales uplifts.”

The group is due to announce full year results in July.