Asda today reported strong first quarter like-for-like sales growth of 1.3%, with an unchanged market share of 17.9%.
The retailer noted strong growth in its online and multichannel businesses as a key driver of growth. It also reaffirmed its commitment to targeting price-conscious shoppers.
“This remains a strong performance in what remains a very tough market. Despite a difficult environment for our customers, we have continued to achieve growth on growth by lowering the prices of essentials and investing in technology to make shopping more convenient,” said Asda CEO Andy Clarke.
The figures compare to Asda’s strongest quarter in 2012 and follow broadly flat results for the second half of 2012.
Online continued to be a high growth area, with total sales in the quarter increasing 16% on the same period last year.
This year Asda is “on a price-clarity agenda”, said Clarke, referring to the retailer’s 10-week-old Price Lock campaign, which commits to locking down the price of household essentials including milk, egg and cheese for a minimum of 16 weeks.
The figures for the 14 weeks to 12 April 2013 exclude petrol sales and VAT.
Asda added that it was importing technology from its parent Walmart to improve its in-store experience. This includes ‘Scan and Go’ technology, which is being trialled at a number of stores in the next few months. It also said ‘click and collect’ facilities for grocery would be in place in 200 stores by the end of the year.
In its full-year results last month, the company said sales had increased to £22.8bn, up from £21.8bn the year before.