British supermarket Sainsbury's posts rising profits

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's announced on Wednesday a rise in first-half net profits as its share of Britain's grocery market hit the highest level for ten years.

Net profit grew 9.3 percent to £340 million ($540 million, 402 million euros) in the six months the end of September, Sainsbury's said.

Tjhe company is Britain's third-biggest supermarket chain after Walmart-owned Asda and the country's biggest retailer Tesco.

Profit after tax had stood at £311 million in the first six months of its previous financial year, British chain Sainsbury's said in a statement. Revenue climbed 4.4 percent to £13.95 billion in the reporting period.

"Our share of the grocery market is the highest for a decade at 16.8 percent following 35 consecutive quarters of like-for-like sales growth," chief executive Justin King said in the earnings release.

"Whilst customers' budgets remain tight and any recovery in the economy may take time to take effect, our consistent strategy and strong values-driven culture mean we are well placed to continue to deliver for customers, colleagues and shareholders," he added.