Sainsbury's has reported slowing sales growth and a 9 per cent fall in half year profits after moves to keep prices low and rising cost pressures.
The fourth consecutive decline in profits also reflects the inclusion of the seasonally loss-making Argos business in the results.
The group reported underlying pre-tax profits of £251m in the six months to September 23.
Falling sales across general merchandise and Argos meant like-for-like sales rose just 0.6 per cent in the second quarter, down from growth of 2.3 per cent in the first three months.
Total general merchandise sales fell 1.6 per cent in the second quarter.
Chief executive Mike Coupe said the market remains competitive, but said the group is seeing clear results of its three-year plan.
"We have delivered a good performance across the group in the last six months, with more customers choosing to shop at Sainsbury's in the first half than ever before," he said.
"We are now three years into delivering our differentiated strategy and are seeing clear results."
He added the group remains focused on its strategy and is on track for full-year expectations.
Sainsbury‘s bought Argos in September 2016.
The figures come a month after Sainsbury's announced 2,000 jobs will go, mainly from human resources and payroll staff, adding to 1,000 head office job cuts in August, as part of efforts to cut another £500m of costs.