Asda has posted a Q3 like-for-like sales rise of 0.3% for the 13 weeks ending 29 September 2012.
The supermarket said it had outperformed the market during the quarter - and that its market share had crept up 0.1% to 17.5% - an increase of 10 basis points year-on-year.
“These are solid results in a tough market,” said CEO Andy Clarke. “I’m pleased we continue to strike the right balance in terms of delivering low prices, great quality and unbeatable service. That focus on real value is what our customers want.”
Clarke added that Asda’s income tracker showed that despite a brief period of improvement in September, October had seen another slump in disposable income. Clarke said that since July, Asda had invested in commodities such as bread, milk and eggs in order to maintain a price point of £1 in order to woo cash-strapped customers.
“Our latest income tracker, out today, shows that after a period of slight improvement, disposable income is more or less flat again this month,” said Clarke.
“So our continued investment in lowering the prices of the core commodities our customers need week in, week out, is more important than ever and means we can stretch their budgets a little bit further.”
Clarke also called for a freeze in fuel duty, saying a 3ppl tax in January would come at the “worst possible time for families” who will already be feeling the cost of Christmas and energy price rises. Last week, Asda cut petrol by 2p and its nationwide price is currently £1.31.7 for unleaded and £1.37.7 for diesel.
Meanwhile, chief operating officer Judith McKenna outlined the significant investment Asda is making in developing its multichannel business, which has doubled in size in the past two years and is set for continued rapid growth.
President and CEO of Walmart International Doug McMillon said: “The U.K. had a solid third quarter in a very challenging market. As others have reported, UK consumers remain hard-pressed economically. Petrol prices remain a factor, with average fuel prices in the U.K. at £1.38 per litre. During the quarter, Asda maintained its commitment to EDLP, investing in price reductions of key food commodities to provide our customers with much-needed relief from inflationary pressures. At the same time, Asda has continued to drive strong multichannel growth with a focus on improving the online shopping experience.”