Asda is set to declare its recovery plan complete after consistent sales growth in the past 12 months opened the door to more store openings and to possible acquisitions. Financial Times

Britain's second biggest grocer, owned by US supermarket group Wal-Mart, announced yesterday that it had recorded like-for-like sales, excluding petrol, in the 'mid single digits' in 2007 and 'high single digits' for overall sales, which includes the impact of new stores.

It has also recorded likefor-like sales of 'mid-single digits' in the first few weeks of 2008. While Asda is constrained from giving a more detailed financial performance because of the reporting requirements of Wal-Mart, the recent performance is believed to be more than 6% on a like-for-like level.

Asda is continuing to explore a bid for some Somerfield stores that have been put up for sale by its consortium of owners, which includes Barclays Capital, Apax, Robert Tchenguiz and John Lovering.