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Budget goods boost Asda's market share

WAL-MART owned Asda yesterday said it was stealing market share from other supermarkets as customers shopped around for low prices during the downturn.<br /><br />Asda said over three months to 31 July it had grown its market share of the grocery sector to 17 per cent, up from 16.7 per cent the quarter before.<br /><br />Tesco continues to be the front-runner in the UK market, with over 30 per cent of the market, while J Sainsbury&rsquo;s has a 16 per cent share.<br /><br />Despite the fall in food price inflation, Asda said it saw volumes accelerate over the same period as it continued to win over shoppers.<br /><br />Like-for-like sales were up 7.2 per cent excluding fuel over the three months to July 31.<br /><br />Asda has added ten more stores to its UK portfolio this year.<br /><br />But the group&rsquo;s second quarter sales rise marks a slowdown on the 8.4 per cent increase seen in the previous three months.<br /><br />Asda chief financial officer Judith McKenna said the group remained cautious on the wider economy.<br /><br />Asda revealed that on average families are &pound;12 a week better off than a year ago due to lower priced commodities but UK consumer confidence remains low, driven by concerns about job security.<br /><br />&nbsp;McKenna said: &ldquo;This is not going to be a straight line economic recovery, however, in this environment, we are well placed to continue gaining market share by giving customers what they want &ndash; great products at low prices.&rdquo;<br /><br />Wal-Mart, the world&rsquo;s biggest retailer with over 100m customers a year, reported basically flat profits of $3.44bn (&pound;2.1bn) from $3.45bn in the same period last year due to adverse currency movements.<br /><br />Net sales in the three months ended July 31 also fell 1.4 per cent to $100.1bn on adverse currency movements. Mike Duke, Wal-Mart&rsquo;s chief executive yesterday said he was confident about the firm&rsquo;s long-term future.