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LONDON - Britain's third biggest supermarket group Asda, owned by Wal-Mart, reported industry-beating second quarter sales today and said the growth of its George clothing range would create an extra 2,000 jobs this year, Reuters reports.
The announcement was made after Wal-Mart Stores revealed better-than-expected second quarter results. Asda's contribution was double-digit sales and profit growth in the three months ended July 31, its fifth consecutive quarter of double digit growth, beating UK industry rivals.
Asda is pushing into non-food areas to boost its profit margins and has become the clear leader in supermarket clothing with its George brand. Sales of George clothing soared by nearly 30 percent year-on-year.
In addition, Asda is outperforming rivals with its growth in food sales, which a spokesman said has been maintained in "the high single digits".
That is double the rate currently seen elsewhere in the industry as consumer spending slows, analysts said.
Market leader Tesco Plc and second placed J Sainsbury have already fallen victim to the general slowdown that is predicted to hit the industry this year.
Asda said the new jobs it will be creating will be split equally between full-time and temporary sales posts. They will be spread between the 228 stores that supply George clothing.
The retailer will also open a new clothing distribution center in September, creating a further 150 jobs this year and up to 150 more in 2003.