Asda like-for-likes edged up 0.7%, excluding VAT and fuel, in the 12 weeks to July 5 as the grocer unveiled plans to accelerate investment in its bricks and clicks strategy.
Operating income at Asda increased 7.5%.
The Walmart-owned grocer said it will invest in technology and infrastructure to improve its click and collect operation and its mobile capacity. Asda said it wants to “make shopping more convenient; allowing customers to shop for what they want, when they want it”.
Asda president and chief executive Andy Clarke said: “We’re pleased with our results in a tough market. We continued to grow our sales while also investing in holding down the price of essentials, increasing access points to Asda’s value and putting money back in customers’ pockets when they need it the most.
“Our focus on opening up more ways for more customers to shop with us, particularly in areas currently underserved by Asda, provides us with real opportunity to grow space and channels to adapt our business to today’s customer.
“I’m confident this focus will continue to drive growth in a sustainable way.”
Asda said it will continue to invest in physical stores, petrol filling stations and click and collect sites. It is set to launch a same day grocery collection service at its Wakefield store this month – what the supermarket calls a first in UK grocery retail.
Asda will also accelerate its rollout of grocery shopping collection to almost 250 sites by the end of the year.
As revealed by Retail Week last month, the grocer said it expects 75% of customers to shop through multiple channels this Christmas.
Asda said it is “maximising its relationship with parent company Walmart, to bring new in-store and technology innovations to the UK”.
Walmart international president and chief executive Doug McMillon said: “The UK is an example of where we are leading with a core strength, investing in price on essential food items. In the UK, we continued to grow both sales and operating income in the second quarter of the year, with operating income growing 7.5 percent.
“However, the British consumer remains under pressure. Our price investment in food essentials and produce continued throughout the quarter, a key traffic driver which meant we grew market share in this category.
“The result was lower inflation across the overall basket for our UK customers.”