Asda enjoyed double digit sales growth in the six months ending July 31, said parent company Wal-Mart. A spokesman said Asda also reported "solid mid-single digit" like-for-like growth. He said that came "despite the tough comparison with the high sales resulting from the announcement of our acquisition and significant price deflation". The results were boosted by new openings. "Four units opened in the UK during the second quarter including our first dual branded Supercenter in Patchway, Bristol," said the spokesman. "Initial results from the store are encouraging and exceed our opening estimates. This is the first of three Supercentres opening in 2000. The next two open in November." No breakdown of the results is given. But Asda's contribution helped the Wal-Mart's international division raise its first half operating profit by 118% to $381m. And Wal-Mart's spokesman claimed Asda "continues to exceed its sales and earnings plan". Wal-Mart's total sales grew by 22% to $89bn during the first half, while net profit was up 35% at $2.9bn. But the group's share price fell 7% in a day after it warned third quarter earnings would be lower than forecast because of changes to its accounting methods. - Wal-Mart is building a 640,000 sq ft fulfilment centre in Carrollton, Georgia for its online retail arm Wal-Mart.com. The facility should open in August 2001. {{NEWS }}

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