Asda, the UK's number two retailer, saw its like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, dip 0.4% during the second quarter of its financial year, its parent Wal-Mart said today (17 August).

Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart's international business, said Asda's sales grew "in the low single-digits" during the three months to 31 July. However, he added that comparable-store sales at Asda, excluding fuel, fell by "40 basis points".

The 0.4% fall in comparable-store sales in the second quarter followed a 0.3% decrease in the first quarter.

Nevertheless, McMillon said Asda's gross margin as a percentage of sales improved during the second quarter thanks to "a mix shift" to higher margin George clothing and general merchandise products.

"Asda continues to make good progress towards their strategic goals," McMillon said.

Based on figures from Wal-Mart's last financial year, sales outside the US accounted for 25% of group turnover. Asda generates around 31% of that quarter.