Asda, the UK unit of Wal-Mart, says it is attracting an increasing number of value-conscious consumers, despite posting a drop-off in sales growth during the second quarter.

The UK's second-largest supermarket emphasised that it is now attracting 18m customers a week and has grown its market share to 17%, up from 16.7% in the same period of last year.

"By continuing to be the lowest price retailer and by broadening our appeal, we're attracting more customers, and increasing our sales volumes," Asda CFO Judith McKenna said.

However, the company revealed that comparable-sales growth had slowed to 7.2%, down from growth of 8.4% in the first quarter of the year, as food inflation reached its lowest level in two years.

McKenna said Asda's George clothing business "has had an excellent spring/summer season.

"Early sales of our George Back to School range, with its unique 100 day quality guarantee, have also been extremely encouraging."

Asda's view of the wider economic outlook continues to be cautious as UK consumer confidence remains low, driven by concerns about job security.

"Consumers continue to be somewhat cautious, with many people choosing to use any extra money they have to pay down debt and save more," McKenna said.

"This is not going to be a straight line economic recovery, however, in this environment, we are well placed to continue gaining market share by giving customers what they want - great products at low prices."