Asda has reported like-for-like sales up 0.3% in its third quarter for the 13 weeks to September 29.

The Walmart-owned grocer has increased its market share to 17.5%, an increase of ten basis points year-on-year.

Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said: “These are solid results in a tough market. I’m pleased we continue to strike the right balance in terms of delivering low prices, great quality and unbeatable service. That focus on real value is what our customers want.”

Clarke said though that money is increasingly tight for customers. “Our latest income tracker out today shows that after a period of slight improvement disposable income is more or less flat again this month.

“So our continued investment in lowering the prices of the core commodities our customers need week in, week out, is more important than ever and means we can stretch their budgets a little bit further.”

The Asda chief said its Asda Price Guarantee, which promises to be 10% cheaper than its rivals, is being used by a million shoppers a week in the run up to Christmas.

Walmart International president and chief executive Doug McMillon said: “The U.K. had a solid third quarter in a very challenging market.  As others have reported, U.K. consumers remain hard-pressed economically.  Petrol prices remain a factor, with average fuel prices in the U.K. at £1.38 per litre.

“During the quarter, Asda maintained its commitment to EDLP, investing in price reductions of key food commodities to provide our customers with much-needed relief from inflationary pressures. At the same time, Asda has continued to drive strong multi-channel growth with a focus on improving the online shopping experience.”

Clarke also joined calls for a freeze in fuel duty.