Asda reports second successive quarter of growth

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The boss of Asda’s parent company conceded it has “more work to do” after posting a second successive rise in quarterly sales.

The Leeds-based supermarket giant, which is owned by US giant Walmart, said like-for-like sales increased 1.1 per cent in its third quarter to September 30.

The figures marked a slowdown from the 1.8 per cent growth seen in the previous three months, but is the chain’s second quarter in a row of rising sales after three years of declines.

The chain’s turnaround programme has been boosted by a combination of price cuts and rising inflation, with bosses saying that basket sizes have increased as it has also improved customer service.

But Walmart’s finance boss, Brett Briggs, said that, while the group is pleased with the improved performance, “we know we have more work to do”.

Asda’s chief executive Sean Clarke, who is set to leave the business at the end of the year, said: “It’s great to see that we have now delivered our 2nd consecutive quarter of positive LFL growth, and the fifth consecutive quarter of continued sales improvement.

“Right now, we are focussed on delivering value for our customers across all of our ranges this Christmas and ensuring everyone gets a great experience, both instore or online. Our colleagues will ensure Asda delivers the ‘Best Christmas Ever’. Thank you to each and every colleague for the difference you make.

“The market environment will continue to be challenging into next year but we’re well placed with clear plans and a renewed level of confidence.”

The group announced last month that Mr Clarke will be replaced by Asda’s chief operating officer and deputy chief executive Roger Burnley in the new year.

Mr Clarke will step down by the end of December after just over a year in the role.

Walmart president and chief executive Doug McMillon said; “In the UK, Asda delivered positive comp sales again this quarter.

“The improvements in store experience and price investments are increasing store basket sizes.

“We’re excited to have Roger Burnley lead Asda into the future as CEO starting next year.

“Over the past year, Roger has been our COO and Deputy CEO and he has a long and distinguished retail career.”

The Wallmart boss added: “I’d like to thank Sean Clarke for the tremendous work that he has done over the past year to stabilize the business and position it for growth. Sean has done a lot for our company living in 5 countries over his 21-year career with Walmart.

“Thank you, Sean.”

Asda announced in September that it had axed nearly 300 jobs at its head office as part of a major cost-cutting drive - more than one in 10 of its 2,500 head office roles.

A further 800 staff had the scope of their job descriptions changed as part of the shake-up.

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