Asda, the UK's number two supermarket, today (14 May) posted an 8.4% rise in underlying like-for-like sales in the first quarter of its fiscal year.

The Wal-Mart-owned firm said it was "winning customers from all competitors" and seeing sales grow at twice the rate of the UK market.

In apparel, Asda said that George continues to demonstrate broad customer appeal.

According to TNS Worldpanel, George apparel gained 40 basis points of market share, with children's wear performing particularly well.

"As another testament to our product offering, all of the sales growth can be attributed to increased sales of full-priced merchandise as spring and summer apparel sold well," the company said.

Asda declined to give specific profit numbers for the period to 30 April but said it had "beaten" its sales and earnings target for the quarter.

Gross margins as a percentage of sales were "in line with last year", Asda said.

Wal-Mart president and CEO Mike Duke said: "Asda had a stand-out quarter, leading on price and gaining market share."

Asda CFO Judith McKenna said the retailer's emphasis on value had driven the rise in sales.

"Customers continue to tell us what's important to them, and we have hit the sweet spot by finding the right balance between lowering prices, improving quality and reducing our costs," McKenna said.

"As a result we are winning even more customers and we're gaining them from all of our competitors."