Sales rose 1.8% in the second quarter after a bumper Easter, helped by price cuts and more customers shopping at its stores.
Removing the benefit of Easter from the results, Asda’s like-for-like sales were 0.7% higher. Asda, owned by US giant Walmart, has been hurt by the rise of German discounters Aldi and Lidl. Last year Asda reported its worst quarterly performance on record, with sales tumbling by 7.5%.
Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon said the world’s biggest retailer was “encouraged” by the performance of its UK operation.
Doug commented: “In June, I visited Asda to see the progress being made. Customers are responding to investments in price and store experience by visiting the stores more often and increasing their basket sizes. There’s still much more to be done, but we’re clearly headed in the right direction.”
Asda’s growth is still behind the other main players, however, currently sitting as the third-largest UK supermarket chain behind Tesco and Sainsbury’s, according to Kantar Worldpanel.
The supermarket’s chief executive Sean Clarke took over from Andy Clarke (no relation) last summer. The new chief’s strategy to halt falling sales has been to focus on lowering prices. Asda said that its second quarter had seen “one of its most successful Easter trading periods on record”, with total sales up 16%. Sean commented that 275,000 new customers shopped at Asda in the second quarter, but added: “We know we need to continue to up our game to be in the best shape possible.”