Asda has announced its worst ever quarterly sales figures for the 11 weeks to June 30.
Like-for-like sales were down 4.7 per cent during the period, as chief executive and president Andy Clarke pointed to the numbers as a ’disappointing, but short-term picture’.
The announcement comes with supermarkets currently in the spotlight amid one of the worst price wars in retail history. The continued price competition is widely credited with contributing to pressure on the farm gate.
Mr Clarke said: “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.”
“Behind the negative sales number lies a more positive story for Asda. 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.”
Asda was praised by union chiefs last week after it announced it would pay farmers 28ppl for liquid milk, a move made by several top UK retailers.
Morrisons is reportedly close to a deal to sell its 160 convenience stores to Greybull Capital. The firm revealed plans to close some of its M-local stores earlier this year, suggesting their performance had not been as good as expected.