Tighter cost control and rising food sales have boosted profits at upmarket UK retailer Waitrose.

The company posted an 18.7% jump in underlying profit to GBP139.8m (US$x) as it cut costs and spent less on capital expenditure than a year earlier.

Like-for-like food sales grew by 3.2% as the UK’s wet summer slowed growth during the second quarter of the year.

Nonetheless, Waitrose said it extended its leadership of the organic market with the UK, taking its share to almost 18%. In terms of total UK food sales, Waitrose accounts for a 4% share of the market.

“Waitrose has delivered sales and profit uplifts in a period when the industry struggled with the wettest June/July period on record, competing against both fine weather and the [football] World Cup last summer,” the company said yesterday (13 September).