Asda grows LFL sales

Consumer struggles have not dampened Asda’s sales growth, as the supermarket chain posted like-for-like (LFL) sales growth of 0.7%.

Last week Asda, which is part of the larger Walmart family, said sales in the 12 weeks to 5 July had grown and were driven by its own ongoing investment in creating a multiformat, multichannel business.

The company, which was voted the lowest-priced supermarket for the 16th year in a row, explained that its positive performance had come about while it was still “holding down the price of everyday essentials”.

Speaking at a results briefing last week, president and CEO of Asda Andy Clarke said he was pleased with the results achieved in what was a “tough market”. He added: “We continued to grow our sales while also investing in holding down the price of essentials, increasing access points to Asda’s value and putting money back in customers’ pockets when they need it the most.”

Asda is now moving towards making the company more available to more people and Clarke said: “Our focus on opening up more ways for more customers to shop with us, particularly in areas currently underserved by Asda, provides us with real opportunity to grow space and channels to adapt our business to today’s customer.”

Meanwhile, the supermarket will be focusing with more intent on its multichannel formats in order to grow. And looking ahead to the end of 2013, Asda said it expects 75% of its customers to shop through its “multiple channels” over the Christmas period.

On a conference call with analysts, Walmart international president and CEO Doug McMillon said: “The UK is an example of where we are leading with a core strength, investing in price on essential food items. In the UK, we continued to grow both sales and operating income in the second quarter of the year, with operating income growing 7.5%. However, the British consumer remains under pressure.”