Bristol-based supermarket chain Somerfield has revealed a decline in sales compared to the previous year.
The group revealed that sales were 1.2% lower when store openings and closures were taken out of the equation. At its Kwik Save stores sales were 1.6% down.
Somerfield also announced pre-tax profits were up to £27.9m in the last six months of 2004, up from £15.5m.
Christmas and New Year sales had been hit by the timing of bank holidays, added the group.
A company statement said that market conditions remained "challenging".
Chief executive Steve Back said changes to stores would allow them to compete in an "increasingly competitive marketplace".