Asda reports steady sales growth ahead of Sainsbury's merger

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Chief executive Roger Burnley said the merger would help Asda to "go further, faster" (Source: Asda)

Asda reported steady sales growth today as the supermarket looks forward to its proposed tie-up with Sainsbury's.

Comparable sales growth was up 3.4 per cent in the three months to the end of March. This was helped by the early timing of Easter, but Asda said sales still grew by one per cent when adjusted for seasonal factors.

Online sales accelerated at a rate of 8.3 per cent for grocery, but the star of the show was clothing, with sales on up 21.9 per cent.

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"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," said chief executive Roger Burnley.

The results were released as part of Wal-Mart's update to the US market this afternoon, in which the company unveiled a 4.4 per cent rise in revenue to $122.7bn (£90.9bn) for the quarter.

Wal-Mart will take a 42 per cent stake in the combined Asda and Sainsbury's entity, under the plans announced at the end of last month.

Burnley said of the merger: “Whilst we are not complacent, we are positive about our growing momentum and excited by the opportunity that our proposed merger with Sainsbury’s PLC offers to accelerate our successful strategy and go further, faster.”

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