UK supermarket group Somerfield told investors earlier today that pre-tax profits for the first half of this financial year are in line with expectations.

The group revealed that strong same-store sales were driven in Somerfield outlets during the start of the period by aggressive promotions. These were, however, costly affairs and since then management has scaled back the promotional offer in a bid to regain the cash margin.

While the company did not release specific figures, the 28 weeks to 10 November saw group same-store sales up 2.9% overall. Sales at Somerfield stores increased by 2.5% and at the group's other chain, Kwik Save, store sales were up 3.5%.

On a same-store basis, second-quarter sales at Somerfield store were actually 0.6% down on the previous year. Kwik Save meanwhile saw same store Q2 sales increase by 2.3%.