Asda has announced a slowdown of its plans to open standalone forecourts as it re-prioritises the business to cope with the challenges facing the big supermarket groups.

The group had previously set a target of opening 100 standalone forecourts by 2018 and in March this year it bought 15 sites from Rontec.

Asda president and CEO, Andy Clarke, said: "We need to simplify what we do by prioritising the first line of our strategy improving our core business." The company plans to temporarily slow down planned expansions in London as well as the programme to develop more standalone petrol stations.