Asda has reported a rise in like-for-like sales of just 0.6% excluding VAT for the past year.

Fourth-quarter sales were up 1.6%, or by 2.6% including the impact of the VAT rise.

“I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made in the past six months,” said chief executive Andy Clarke (pictured).

“We have successfully extended our price gap to 10%, significantly improved the quality of our food across the entire store and given our customers even better service.”

Clarke said 800,000 people had taken advantage of the revamped Price Guarantee since the retailer pledged at the beginning of the year to be 10% cheaper than its major supermarket rivals.

Asda also announced the launch of a new premium non-food range, dubbed Elegant Living. It claimed the range, which includes bedding, bath, cooking and dining products, would be up to 30% cheaper than products of equal quality on the high street.

Meanwhile, Asda will pay staff bonuses totalling £26.9m following its 2010 performance.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the colleagues working in our stores and depots are the heroes of our business," added Clarke.

"They have worked incredibly hard this year to deliver the best for our customers – taking everything from the difficult economic climate to the great British weather in their stride. I take my hat off to them.”

Read more
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Tesco in multi-pronged Asda attack over ‘misleading’ ploy (22 January 2011)
Asda gets back on growth track in third quarter (16 November 2010)