Morrisons shares put on 18p and Unilever 21p but, of the retailers, Sainsbury took a hammering in September as its price dropped by 36p. Cadbury Schweppes' shares fell 25p and Dairy Crest dropped 51p. Sainsbury is not looking good, in spite of its announcement that it is to beef up its pricing strategy to sharpen its competitiveness with Asda and Tesco. James Anstead, at Schroder Salomon Smith Barney, said Sainsbury's large pension liabilities meant that the chain's market capitalisation went down every time the stock market dipped. Sainsbury's three-month average market share is also the lowest on record, according to TNS, while the new loyalty card, Nectar, has failed to meet with the desired fanfare. Industry watchers have questioned whether it is the right move. Tesco's shares were stable after it reported pre-tax profit in line with forecasts, up 13.3% to #545m in its half-year interims, although like-for-like growth had returned to more normal levels of 3-4%. However, Morrisons managed its usual sales hike and surpassed even the most positive forecasts by announcing like-for-like growth of 5.7% in its half year figures, with sales up 16.1% to #114.5m. The chain is really on form and is tipped to knock Somerfield from fifth place in the UK market. Anstead said Morrisons was prudent and one of the most defensive players on the stock market, which continued to make its stock very low risk. Northern Foods announced slightly disappointing results, because of the disposal of Ski and Munch Bunch to Nestle. Underlying retail sales had slowed in the second quarter, however the company was confident of a good Christmas. Unilever meanwhile, predicted it would sustain growth of its leading brands at 4.5-5% in the third quarter, despite softer sales of ice cream and ready-to-drink tea. October is a quiet month and the next interims are due in November when Sainsbury, Safeway, Dairy Crest and Northern Foods post figures. {{INSIGHT }}