Sainsbury’s has posted a 2.5% increase in half-year pre-tax profits.

The supermarket chain said profits rose from £395m to £405m in the 28 weeks to 29 September.

Sales rose 4% to £13.4bn during the period, or by 1.7% on a like-for-like basis - the retailer’s 31st quarter of consecutive like-for-like growth.

It reported strong growth across its businesses. It said its online business was growing at over 20%, convenience was enjoying almost 20% year-on-year growth, and that general merchandise and clothing was growing three times faster than food.

In food, Sainsbury’s said it was 85% of the way through the relaunch of its standard own-label range By Sainsbury’s. Own-label penetration was also increasing at a faster rate than any other major supermarket, with sales of its premium Taste the Difference range up nearly 10%.

Its fresh food counters were also now in 513 of its 576 supermarkets and were growing market share faster than any other retailer.

“We continue to succeed by remaining focused on delivering quality products, best-in-class service and value for our customers, without compromise,” said Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King.

“While the wider economic situation remains challenging, we are well positioned to help our customers Live Well For Less. Our long-standing consistent strategy, combined with our customer insight and strong value-driven culture, will continue to deliver for customers, colleagues and shareholders,” he added.