Sainsbury’s has reported a 1% drop in like-for-like sales in its trading statement for the first half of the financial year.

The multiple also revealed a 10.1% fall in first half profits for the 28-week period to September 24 amid “challenging market conditions.” 

It claimed it was confident in delivering on its £500m cost savings target by 2017/18 and was on track to launch a total of 30 Argos digital stores and 200 digital collection points in supermarkets before Christmas this year. 

Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s chief executive, said: “We have made good progress delivering this in challenging market conditions. We have invested in the quality of our products while reducing prices on everyday items, delivering volume growth and outperforming the market in customer service and availability. 

“We achieved like-for-like transaction growth across all our channels and remain on track to deliver our three-year £500m cost saving programme by the end of 2017/18. We will also deliver £500m of cost savings over three years from 2018/19.”

Sainsbury’s acquired the Home Retail Group and Argos earlier this year and aims to integrate 250 Argos outlets in its supermarkets over the next three years. 

Mike Coupe added: “The acquisition of Home Retail Group accelerates our strategy to give customers choice, convenience, speed and flexibility in when, where and how they shop. Food will always be at our heart and we are strengthening our clothing, general merchandise and financial services offers to realise the potential of the group. The combination of our products, services, customer data and fast delivery networks gives us a strong platform for growth and enables us to deliver clear synergies.”