Sales at Pizza Express were higher in the first half, as the restaurant chain focused on upgrading its eateries.

Total sales rose 2.6% in the 26 weeks to June 30, while like-for-like sales were up 0.2%.

Underlying earnings were down 7.7% to £32.4 million, with the decline blamed primarily on rising costs in the UK.

For the British and Irish business, total sales rose 0.5% but like-for-likes fell 0.2%.

READ MORE: Global investor signals faith in Glasgow office market

Chairman and chief executive Jinlong Wang said the company was focusing on cost control and efficiency, while remaining cautious about new openings.

"We are taking a measured approach to growing our business in the UK and Ireland, and in the first half we opened a net two new sites," he said.

Another six sites have since been refurbished, leading to what Mr Wang said was an "increased sales performance".

Other fresh initiatives include adding more low-calorie and vegan dishes to the menu and expanding a partnership with Deliveroo.

Marine services provider James Fisher revealed a 3% dip in profit before tax for the six months to June 30, as the group said its performance would be weighed to the second half.

Revenue jumped 10% in the period to £286.9 million, reflecting growth in offshore oil and tankships as well as the addition of two newly acquired businesses.

READ MORE: Homes deal struck for Sir Tom Hunter’s £1bn new town

The group's marine support division had a slower start to the year with several projects deferred to the second half.

Chief executive Nick Henry said: "We remain well positioned across all four of our divisions with significant growth opportunities ahead."

Japan's top carmaker, Toyota, and smaller rival Suzuki have announced they are partnering in the development of self-driving car technology.

The move comes as manufacturers around the world grapple with innovations in the industry.

READ MORE: Thomas Cook agrees rescue deal

They said that Toyota will take a 4.9% stake in Suzuki Motor Corp, valued at 96 billion yen (£744 million), and Suzuki will make a 48 billion yen (£372 million) investment in Toyota.

In 2017, Toyota and Suzuki agreed to work together in ecological and safety technology. That deal did not include owning mutual stakes.

Car manufacturers are facing a costly shift towards use of artificial intelligence and various ecological and safety technologies.

Toyota makes the top-selling hybrid vehicle, Prius.