Asda Bucks Trend With Sales And Market Share Boost

Asda has announced it has exceeded both its full -year sales and profit forecast after reporting a 7.2 per cent rise in like-for-like sales for the fourth quarter of 2008.
The growth rate for the last 12 week of 2008 was up from rises of 5 per cent, 6 per cent and 6.9 per cent in the previous three quarters respectively.
Britain’s second largest supermarket chain said its better-than-expected sales growth was driven by an influx of bargain-hunting shoppers and higher basket spend per customer.
It added that an extra 800,000 customers had been lured away from its pricier rivals and into its stores in 2008, with the largest gains seen in its South East supermarkets .
The fourth-quarter performance left Asda with a 6.5 per cent leap in full-year comparable sales, ahead of its own targets, and with a record market share of 17.2 per cent.
Online sales grew by a massive 40 per cent over the year as it expanded its home shopping service to cover more than 90 per cent of the UK population, while 2008 also saw the launch of its non-food operation Asda Direct .
Chief executive Andy Bond said: “2008 was yet another vintage year for Asda as we out-performed both our sales and profit plan, and grew our market share to its highest ever level.”
“Despite the gloomy headlines there are still millions of people willing to spend their hard-earned cash and get Britain on the road to recovery. But they will only do so if they believe they are getting genuine value for money.”
The Wal-Mart-owned retailer said it will reinstate its famous ‘pocket tap’ TV adverts over the next couple of months to consolidate its appeal to value-conscious shoppers seeking reassurance in the uncertain economic climate.

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