Whilst the period includes Easter trading, this is the first time Asda has reported a positive quarterly sales figure in three years

Whilst the period includes Easter trading, this is the first time Asda has reported a positive quarterly sales figure in three years

UK supermarket group Asda has acknowledged it must continue to up its game despite reporting its first positive quarterly sales for the first time in three years.

Asda's comparable store sales rose 1.8% in the second quarter to the end of June, excluding petrol. The figure is an improvement on the supermarket's performance in the previous quarter, when comparable sales declined 2.9%.

The results were helped by one of its most successful Easter trading periods on record. Removing the Easter impact from the quarter gave Asda a 0.7% comp performance versus the same period last year.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillion says customers responded to investments in price and store experience by visiting more often, but notes there is still much more to be done.

Net sales, meanwhile, increased 3.9%. Walmart CFO Brett Biggs noted continued sequential improvement in the business, including customer traffic and ticket.

Asda CEO, Sean Clarke said the group's continued focus on value and service meant 275,000 new customers chose to shop at Asda in the second quarter, particularly during Easter.

"We know we need to continue to up our game to be in the best shape possible," he adds. "We will continue to work collaboratively with our suppliers to create the best products, make investments where they matter most to our customers, and ensure that we are fit for purpose in what remains a competitive market."

Parent company Walmart delivered second quarter numbers that one analyst says shows the company is "holding its own in a challenging and competitive retail market."

Total revenue reached US$123.4bn in the period, up $2.5bn or 2.1% on last year. Excluding currency, total revenue was $124.4bn, an increase of $3.5bn or 2.9%. Walmart US net sales increased 3.3% to $78.7bn, while those at Walmart International slipped 1% to $28.3bn. Net income meanwhile, fell 23.2% to $2.9bn.