It has posted a 5% fall in UK like-for-like sales for the 12 weeks to 15 October 2011, which is an improvement on the 10% slide in the previous quarter.
Total group sales were up 1% during the half year to £3.29bn.
It posted underlying pre-tax losses of £25.3m during the period, compared with losses of £6.9m in the same period last year.
The group says its Knowhow customer service programme, which was introduced a year ago, is improving customer satisfaction and advocacy and shows “encouraging progress” in the UK business.
John Browett, chief executive, says: “Our focus on building a service-led business model is differentiating our offer for customers and suppliers. In what remains a challenging environment, the pace and impact of improvements in our operating model is driving outperformance versus our competitors and market share gains.
“While we remain cautious about the economic outlook for the second half of the year, we are well positioned and remain focused on delivering world-class value, choice and service for customers.”
Yesterday (23 November) , the retailer joined the heavy Christmas discounting with the launch of a 100-hour “Price Crash” offering deals on more than £1m worth of products.
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