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The half-year results for Sainsbury’s show that profits have increased by a fifth, following the acquisition of catalogue retailer, Argos.

The takeover of Argos and cost saving measures assisted in raising profits to £302m.

Sainsbury's chief executive, Mike Coupe, told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, "It's a pleasing set of results against a difficult market backdrop, largely driven by the acquisition synergies from the Argos business."

Sainsbury’s, the second largest supermarket in the UK, unveiled plans earlier this year to acquire competitor supermarket, Asda, promising to become a “dynamic new player in UK retail, with an outstanding breadth of products delivered through multiple channels”.

"The purchase of Argos has been a well-crafted tactical decision to draw greater footfall into its stores and reduce cost savings measures, with 90 Argos units expected to be opened in stores this financial year."

The competition watchdog is yet to approve the proposition of Sainsbury’s acquiring Asda.

When taking these additional costs associated with the planned merger into account, the profit for Sainsbury’s actually halved.

Julie Palmer, partner at RBR Advisory, said: "The purchase of Argos has been a well-crafted tactical decision to draw greater footfall into its stores and reduce cost savings measures, with 90 Argos units expected to be opened in stores this financial year."

"However, there is still uncertainty around its merger with Asda, with the regulators yet to give the thumbs-up to the deal."

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