Asda sales growth slows in Q2
LONDON Aug 14 (Reuters) - Asda, Britain's second biggest grocer, said sales rose by 0.7 percent in the second quarter, down from 1.3 percent in the first three months and in contrast to the sense of gathering momentum in the country's economy.
The Walmart -owned group, second to Tesco in Britain, said sales at stores open over a year, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, rose 0.7 percent in the 12 weeks to July 5.
"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," Chief Executive Andy Clarke said in a statement on Thursday.
Asda had a 17.3 percent share of the grocery market, behind Tesco on 30.7 percent but ahead of Sainsbury and Morrisons, according to industry data compiled by Kantar Worldpanel last month.
The four biggest retailers are facing increased competition from Aldi and Lidl in the discount sector and from Waitrose in the premium sector.
Asda's reporting period missed most of July, when British retail sales rose at their fastest annual rate in over two years as a heatwave boosted sales of barbecue food and outdoor items.
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