Asda is generating total sales growth in the "high single digits," said Wal-Mart chief executive Lee Scott in a conference call to discuss the company's first quarter results. Operating profits in the UK also "exceeded expectations". Although Wal-Mart does not release like for like figures for its operating divisions, a spokeswoman said a record 7.7 million customers were visiting Asda stores each week, boosting comparable growth. "We are solidly outperforming the industry and gaining market share all the time," she claimed. "George clothing experienced one of the strongest sales periods ever." According to the latest figures from Taylor Nelson Sofres for April, Asda's market share has stabilised at about 14.4% compared to Tesco's 25.1% and Sainsbury's 18.3%. About 40 stores have converted to Wal-Mart's IT systems with the remaining 204 to be adapted by the end of the year. The chain also announced plans to create 10,000 jobs during the year, in addition to the 27,000 new positions by 2005 advertised in January last year. Adverts urging customers to join up have been pasted up in toilets, mirrors, shelf labels and checkouts. {{NEWS }}