Asda saw its like-for-like sales growth slow in the second quarter in what the UK retailer said was a "tough" market.

The UK arm of Wal-Mart Stores said like-for-like sales, excluding VAT and fuel, grew 0.7% in the 12 weeks ended 5 July. In the previous quarter, like-for-like sales were up 1.3%.

CEO Andy Clarke said the consumer "remains under pressure" but added the retailer was "pleased" with its results in what has been "a tough market".

Asda said it had continued to invest in creating a "multi-format, multi-channel business". The retailer said it plans to invest in physical store sites by expanding its site acquisition activities, opening more bricks and mortar stores, petrol filling stations and click-and-collect sites.

Looking ahead, Asda said it expects 75% of customers to shop through multiple channels this Christmas. 

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Asda pledges to deliver 'more Asda to more people' as it posts positive sales growth

  • Like-for-like sales, for 12 weeks to 5th July 2013 grew 0.7 per cent, (excluding VAT and fuel)
  • Retailer plans on accelerating investment in technology and infrastructure to increase Click & Collect and mobile capacity
  • President and CEO Andy Clarke pledges continued investment in Asda’s “Clicks and Bricks” strategy

Asda today (Thursday 15th August 2013) announced that it had grown like-for-like sales by 0.7% in its second quarter ending 5th July 2013, driven by its ongoing investment in creating a multi-format, multi-channel business while at the same time holding down the price of every day essentials.

Speaking at a results briefing this morning, Andy Clarke, President and CEOof Asda said:

“We’re pleased with our results in a tough market. 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.

“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.

“I’m confident this focus will continue to drive growth in a sustainable way.”

The retailer, which was recently named Britain’s lowest priced supermarket for an unprecedented 16th year running, reaffirmed its commitment to investing in physical store sites by announcing its intention to expand its site acquisition activities, aiming to open more bricks and mortar stores, petrol filling stations and Click & Collect sites.

It confirmed its multichannel formats remain central to its “Clicks and Bricks” strategy, accelerating investment in technology and infrastructure to make shopping more convenient; allowing customers to shop for what they want, when they want it.

Innovations in this area include the launch of a same day grocery collection service at its Wakefield store this month – a first in UK grocery retail. It also announced it was accelerating its rollout of grocery shopping collection to almost 250 sites by the end of 2013. The retailer is maximising its relationship with parent company Walmart, to bring new in-store and technology innovations to the UK.

Looking ahead to the end of the year, the retailer said it expects 75 per cent of customers to shop through multiple channels this Christmas.

On a 12pm conference call with analysts Walmart International President andCEO Doug McMillon said:

“The U.K. is an example of where we are leading with a core strength, investing in price on essential food items. In the U.K., we continued to grow both sales and operating income in the second quarter of the year, with operating income growing 7.5 percent.

“However, the British consumer remains under pressure. Our price investment in food essentials and produce continued throughout the quarter, a key traffic driver which meant we grew market share in this category.

“The result was lower inflation across the overall basket for our UK customers.”

Original source: http://your.asda.com/press-centre/asda-pledges-to-deliver-more-asda-to-more-people-as-it-posts-positive-sales-growth