Sainsbury's has, as the financial market widely predicted, announced pre-tax profits were up 13.3% to £272m. The supermarket now plans to increase the availability of its new 2,000-strong homeware line 'TU Home' launched in April this year.
Profits jumped from £240m at this time last year and put its improved performance down to working towards five targets, set in late 2007, which included speeding up the development of its non-food ranges.
Results, covering the six months up to October 4, are good news for an otherwise gloomy market dominated by falling sales and job losses.
They show like for like sales, not including petrol, have grown by 3.9% to continue 15 quarters of uninterrupted growth.
The supermarket also reveals its home, clothing and other non-food ranges are making good progress with like for like sales growing at twice the rate of food.
Sainsbury's believes this is down to customers choosing their non-food products ahead of specialist retailers as household budgets are tightened.
Justin King, Sainbury's Chief Executive, said: "We have continued to invest in our five areas of focus for growth.
"These are to build and stretch our lead in food, accelerate the development of non-food ranges, extend the reach of our brand, grow our store estate and actively manage our property assets.
"Progress in the last four years has made Sainsbury's a more robust business with a wide customer base an universal appeal."
However, Credit Suisse predicted tough times ahead for the supermarket in 2009 saying customers 'trading-down' from high-end stores, such as Waitrose and Marks & Spencers, were 'holding up' sales.