Local supermarket chain Budgens PLC reported a positive set of interim profits yesterday [Thursday], buoyed by a series of new store openings. Pre-tax profits for the company's first half, ended 11 November, were up 13% to £9.76m year-on-year. Sales during the same period rose to £279.3m from £255.3m a year previous. The interim dividend has been raised 14% to 0.8 pence a share, compared with 0.7 pence for the same period in 2001.