The Co-operative Group is poised to unveil a rise in first-half profits later this week.

The society will announce on Thursday that sales targets set before its takeover of Somerfield have been missed, according to The Guardian. However, improved terms from suppliers are thought to have helped improve profits.

Meanwhile, The Co-op has smashed its target to provide fresh, clean water to one million people in Africa.

The society made the pledge three years ago when it agreed to donate a percentage of sales from its own-label water Fairborne Springs to the One Foundation, which provides water pumps to African villages.

Four hundred PlayPumps, which provide fresh water and double as merry-go-rounds for children to play on, have been installed in South Africa, Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland.

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The Co-op holds Somerfield stock fire sale (23 July 2010)