Asda is continuing to ramp up its promotional activity despite branding deals as "weapons of mass distraction" and announcing a return to its Every Day Low Pricing heritage.

The Walmart-owned retailer was offering 28.9% more deals during the four weeks to 5 April compared with last year and 3.4% more than during February when chief executive Andy Bond announced the strategy change.

At that time Bond said Asda had allowed itself to become too focused on promotions last year and the aim for 2010 would be "sucking out the promotional money on offer from our suppliers" in order to "invest all of it in lowering prices across the board".

A spokeswoman suggested that it was still too early to see this change. "EDLP is very much at the heart of our pricing strategy. Last year we allowed ourselves to become too promotional, but since the start of the year we have started to redress the balance," she said.

"Our price gap is now the highest it's been. We've achieved that by lowering prices across the entire store. We are still in the process of reducing the number of promotions in-store, and over the coming months this will become much clearer."

However one major supplier told The Grocer that Asda was still actively pursuing more deals in a bid to compete with Morrisons in particular.

"Asda is looking for rollbacks of as little as two or three weeks. Anything to get volumes up right now, as it's being killed by the volume and depth of Morrisons' promotions at the moment," he said.

This use of shorter promotions was "no bad thing", he added.

"A lengthy rollback leads to long-term food-price deflation. It also makes negotiations with other retailers considerably easier."

The figures from market research consultancy Assosia showed that promotions have intensified since the start of the year, with only Tesco of the big four cutting back this month. Tesco was offering 3.4% fewer deals than a month ago and 6.3% fewer than a year ago.

Waitrose had the biggest month-on-month increase in the number of deals, up 8.7%, although it was offering 23.4% fewer deals than a year ago when it was busy launching its Essential range.