by former Somerfields Waitrose is set to announce record interim profits when the John Lewis Partnership announces its results for the first half of the year this week. Waitrose md David Felwick told The Grocer sales for the first half were up 13% compared with the same period last year and there would be record profits. However Felwick said the figures had been boosted because of the contribution this year by the 11 stores acquired from Somerfield. Felwick said the first TV advertising by Waitrose had also helped increase sales, and wastage costs were being reduced by new logistics and IT systems, which had cut the overall wastage bill despite an overall increase of 17 new stores. The contribution from the extra stores had mostly kicked in by this time last year, but Felwick said Waitrose was still currently trading 7% ahead of last year. Felwick said the Waitrose home shopping service, currently being trialled at four stores, would be rolled out to about 30 stores early next year, following completion of a new instore picking system electronically linked into the home shopping system. He said the dual branded Ocado/Waitrose home shopping service would begin a trial to a limited number of selected customers during October. However, he said its full launch was unlikely to be before spring next year. Felwick also confirmed the company was looking to extend outside its the current territory, and said its supply chain could service any stores south of a line stretching from Hull to Manchester. He said the company was actively looking for sites and while no deals had been completed there were "a number of irons in the fire". {{NEWS }}