Asda "making progress" after tough start to the year

Asda "making progress" after tough start to the year

UK retailer Asda today (16 November) said its George clothing line was "firing on all cylinders" after its profits grew ahead of sales in the third-quarter of the year.

Like-for-like sales, without fuel, climbed 1.3% in the three months to 30 September, boosted by a number of initiatives including a focus on low prices. Profits for the same period grew ahead of sales, beating internal targets, the Wal-Mart owned retailer said.

"After a particularly tough start to the year we're pleased with the progress we're making," said Andy Clarke, Asda CEO and president. New food initiatives "plus George firing on all cylinders - are all increasing the number of customers coming through our doors."

Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart International, added: "We are encouraged by the recent sales momentum in the UK where we are well positioned for the holiday season.

"At a time where economists are forecasting very tough economic conditions, Asda remains committed to saving customers money every day."

Separately Asda announced it plans to create 7,500 new jobs in 2011 through a combination of new stores, expansion projects and conversions of the UK stores of discount chain Netto, which it agreed to buy in May.

And earlier today Wal-Mart raised its full-year earnings forecasts after reporting a 9% rise in third quarter profit.