Sainsbury’s has seen a rise of more than 40% in its online sales and will continue to push its internet sales channel, the supermarket giant said as it posted £232m pre-tax profits in its half-yearly results.

The company also remains “on target” to secure its planned £155m cost savings for 2007-08 and meet its target of £440m in savings since March 2005. IT savings were “ahead of target” along with efficiencies in the supply chain and store operations, Sainsbury’s said.

The supermarket giant completed the insourcing of its IT operations in May, after cancelling a £1.7bn outsourcing deal with Accenture as part of its business recovery strategy.

Sainsbury’s said its online home delivery service was continuing “to grow apace”, with customer orders hitting 80,000 a week. The service is available to 83% of households and the company began running the service from an additional 23 stores in the first half of its financial year, taking the total to 137 stores.

The retailer is aiming to run the online service from 200 stores by 2010, in a bid to tap the “significant growth potential” of its web operation.

In a statement issued with its first half results, Sainsbury’s added that it had increased the number of Christmas delivery slots by 40% to meet online customer demand.

The supermarket giant also announced that it is developing dedicated IT and supply chain infrastructures to support its non-food range – another planned area of expansion.

Non-food growth “continues to run at over twice the rate of food growth”, Sainsbury’s said.