Asda saw its sixth consecutive quarter of positive growth over the weeks from 1st July to 30th September, according to Kantar Worldpanel data.

Over the period, the supermarket posted a 2.0% increase in like-for-like sales in the quarter, making it its sixth consecutive quarter of positive comp growth.

The data also showed the retailer accounts for 12.7% of the total grocery market.

Commenting on Asda’s performance, Walmart president and CEO, Doug McMillon, said: “We received follow-up communication from the competition authorities related to the proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s. This latest statement was in-line with our expectations, and we will continue to proactively work through the process with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).”

Asda president and CEO, Roger Burnley, added: “In a challenging third quarter for the market, we continued to focus on the areas that we know are important to our customers and deliver on our strategic priorities.

As a result we were pleased to welcome an additional 115,000 customers through our doors and outperform the market for the second quarter running.

“During the quarter we continued to grow our distinct own brand offer, including the expansion of our free from range to include 113 new lines, as well as expand scan and go to 192 stores.

“As we enter what will undoubtedly be an incredibly competitive festive trading period, our stores are fully prepared to bring Christmas home for our customers. I would like to say a huge thank you to our fantastic colleagues for all their efforts to make shopping with Asda easy and friendly over the festive season.”

In a joint commentfollowing the publication of Asda and Sainsbury’s full response to the CMA Phase Two Issues Statement, the supermarkets released the following:

“We are working constructively with the CMA and Inquiry panel as they conduct their in-depth review into the proposed merger. Customers will be the big winners from the combination.

“By bringing our two businesses together, we will be able to invest further in range, quality and customer service, while lowering prices and reducing the cost of living for millions of UK households.”

Meanwhile, in a report discussing a potential Argos concession being opened in Asda stores, Chris Hayward, consumer specialist at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “70% of shoppers don’t know that a merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda would result in Argos concessions being opened in Asda, and most shoppers welcome the idea.

“Consumers want convenience and to have to visit as few outlets as possible, which is why Asda’s shoppers have identified a need for more DIY, homecare, electricals, homewares and toys in its stores.

“That’s not necessarily possible for Asda on its own, but as a one-stop-shop an Asda-Argos tie-up would play to the needs of Asda’s core family-oriented, time-poor demographic and could boost footfall at their larger out-of-town outlets – a format which has struggled as consumers moved to smaller options in recent years.”