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Asda 'on right strategy' says boss Clarke despite 4.7% fall in sales

Published:  19 August, 2015

Asda chief executive Andy Clarke has branded a 4.7% fall in like-for-like sales as "disappointing" but indicated he expected it to be a blip.

The second quarter results, for the 11 weeks to June 30, were "a short-term picture", he said.

Clarke added: "We continue to navigate a steady course through the worst storm in retail history, despite another challenging quarter.

"Predicting that 2015 was going to be a volatile year I didn't expect to report a positive sales figure, but I'm not distracted by the short-term picture.

"We have an enviably stable business with balanced books and the right strategy to return us to sales growth."

Chief financial officer Alex Russo added: "Behind the negative sales number lies a more positive story.

"We are maintaining balance in an impulsive market and performing solidly in growth channels, maximising and accelerating our areas of strength while addressing areas of underperformance."

The Wal-Mart chain said it is investing in service, stores and seeking to maintain recent improvements in home shopping. It is also looking to accelerate its Save Money. Live Better value proposition.

"It is prudent to take a look at the ever-changing shopping habits of today's customers and accelerate the parts of the strategy that will make the most difference to them," said Clarke.

"We're currently completing an intensive piece of research to understand what drives current buying decisions so that we can deliver real solutions for our customers in the Asda way.

"We won't get side-tracked by the short-term fixes that are saturating the supermarket industry."