Asda has reported a 1.6% fall in its like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to September 30, compared with the same period last year, but claims it is outperforming its traditional competitors and gaining market share.

CEO and president Andy Clarke said that although no chief executive wants to report negative figures, he was pleased with Asda’s performance in a distressed market.

Clarke said Asda took early action to address the changes within the retail market 12 months ago – implementing a five-year strategy which included developing 100 standalone petrol stations and extending its reach onto localities such as the south east, where it had less representation.

Referring to what he described as an increase in offers and gimmicks launched in the last quarter, Clarke said Asda remained committed to its Everyday Low Price strategy.

He concluded: “The last quarter has seen a shockwave go through our industry and others are starting to respond to the challenges they face. I expect that we will see another tough quarter and I’m under no illusions that the battle continues to rage.

“A new reality is upon us and although we were the first to adapt, we need to do everything to remain ahead of our traditional competitors while removing reasons for customers to go to the small discount shops. That’s the strategy we are on and we need to keep accelerating it.

“We won’t be knee jerked into reacting to short-term tactics. Vouchers can win quarters, but strategies win decades.”