Group sales were up 12.7% during the period, mainly as a result of the purchase of the Argos chain, while pre-tax profit was £581m compared with £587m during the same period past year.
The supermarket said that Argos had boosted sales, but many analysts were anxious that it has lost sight of its core mission - selling food. It also said it would speed up a plan to open 250 Argos Digital stores in its supermarkets.
But the "competitive and uncertain trading environment" took its toll on the group's profit margin.
Sainsbury's said Argos contributed a better than expected profit of 77 million pounds in the second half and would deliver a 160 million pounds boost to earnings six months early.
Sainsbury's, which trails market leader Tesco (TSCO.L) in annual sales, cautioned that it saw no let-up in the intensely competitive United Kingdom market any time soon.
Sainsbury's share price reflected those concerns, with the FTSE 100-listed stock having shed almost 4.5% by lunchtime, down 12.5p at 267.0p.
Sainsbury's is struggling to keep up with supermarket rivals and discounters in a United Kingdom grocery market under pressure from a Brexit-induced fall in the pound.
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Also on Wednesday, Kantar Worldpanel released its latest grocery market data which showed that each of the 10 major grocery retailers, including the big four supermarkets, grew sales in the 12 weeks ended April 23.
The result reflected intense price competition, driven by German discounters Aldi and Lidl, as well as cost inflation, offset by cost savings of 130 million pounds and the contribution from Argos.
Sainsbury's profit will reassure investors that the company is holding its own in a market where sterling's drop after last year's vote to leave the European Union has put a squeeze on profitability.
"We are pleased with the progress made since we acquired Argos". Asda Ltd, which is owned by United States retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc, achieved sales growth of 0.8%.
But, he added: "One concern about Argos is that it sources a lot of goods from overseas and the depreciation in the sterling exchange rate could wipe out cost synergies from real estate and store integration".
Sainsbury's said it made cost savings of £130m as part of a three-year target to cut £500m by the end of 2017/18.