Supermarket Sainsbury's has bucked the trend of economic woe by reporting an 11% increase in before-tax profits. Strong online sales played a part in this, growing over 30% in the first half of the financial year.
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Before-tax profits were £258m, up from £232m in 2007/08. Sales increased 7.6% from £9,998m to £10,756m.
Its half-year results statement said the company "believes there is significant growth potential in its online operation". It said it plans to increase capacity in areas of high demand.
In the first half of the 2009/10 financial year, Sainsbury's plans to launch non-food products on its website. It said "Good progress is being in the development of this new service."
Chief executive Justin King said, "While we expect the economic environment during the second half to remain particularly challenging, we are developing our offer to continue to meet the needs of customers and maintain our good progress."