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Asda notches up four consecutive quarters of sales growth

Supermarket giant Asda has rung up its fourth consecutive quarter of sales growth, shrugging off the tough retail climate as it gears up for a proposed ?15bn merger with Sainsbury’s.
Britain’s third biggest grocer clocked a 3.4pc rise in like-for-like sales during the first three months of the year.
Stripping out the impact of Easter, which fell during the period, like-for-like sales rose by a more modest 1pc.
Net sales also expanded by 3.7pc, while its online grocery arm and George.com clothing business saw sales expand by 8.3pc and 21.9pc respectively.
The update comes as Sainsbury’s and Asda shook the grocery sector last month by unveiling a mammoth deal to create a grocery giant with a market share larger than Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco.
Asda notches up four consecutive quarters of sales growth

Asda last month announced a deal with Sainsbury's

Credit:
OLI SCARFF
Roger Burnley, the chief executive and president of Asda, said the performance represented “genuine momentum” for the retailer.
He said: “During the first three months of the year, we have continued to invest sensibly where it matters most to our customers with lower prices, innovation in our own brand and further improving their shopping experience whether in store or online.
“Whilst we are not complacent, we are positive about our growing momentum and excited by the opportunity that our proposed merger with Sainsbury’s offers to accelerate our successful strategy and go further, faster.”
The Walmart-owned firm launched 216 new own brand products, added 29 new "free from" lines, introduced scan-and-go technology to 100 stores and extended price cuts to 667 lines over the period.
It also moved to bolster its online shopping experience by introducing a Walmart designed click and collect system.
Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon said he was pleased with the response of staff following the announcement of the Sainsbury’s-Asda mega merger.
Sainsbury's-Asda Comment Puff
The two supermarkets have vowed to slash prices on everyday items by 10pc, and stump up cost savings of ?500m, if the deal wins regulatory backing.
The move would hand Asda-owner Walmart around ?3bn in cash and a 41pc stake in the combined business.
However, the two supermarkets are expected to be forced to sell some of their 2,800 UK stores to satisfy competition concerns surrounding the deal.
Rival supermarket chain Morrisons, the third biggest UK grocer, announced last week that it booked a 3.6pc rise in like-for-like sales excluding fuel during the first three months of the year.
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