A strong performance in non-food and increased footfall and average basket size at Asda have helped to push Wal-Mart’s international sales up 18% to $13.6bn and operating profits up 23.8% to $698m in the third quarter.

In food, Asda’s sales of the Extra Special range, which has been extended to 550 products, were up 40% on last year. The biggest increase was in non-food. Sales at the first trial Asda Living store in Walsall had exceeded expectations and 19 new, extended or relocated superstores and a standalone George trial store in Manchester were also performing well. Four Morrisons and one Co-op store recently acquired have been scheduled to open as Asdas in the first quarter of next year.

Wal-Mart reported Asda sales growing at the high end of the mid single-digit range, with like-for-like sales at the low end of the mid single-digits and operating profits growing faster than sales.

Senior sources have told The Grocer Asda is close to a deal to acquire the 12 Safeway stores in Northern Ireland from Morrisons.