Asda expands on back of "great year"

<p>Asda is planning to create 6,000 new jobs through &quot;new stores, extensions and relocations&quot;, on the back of &quot;a great year&quot;, reportedly growing profit ahead of revenue. </p><p>Asda&#39;s sales growth without fuel was 6% for the full year and 4.6% for the fourth quarter. The company did not state what profits for the periods had been. </p><p>Andy Bond, chief executive of the supermarket, said: &quot;The growth was driven primarily by an increase in customer numbers but also higher average spend, despite the continuing backdrop of no inflation in the market.&quot; This was also despite the bad weather at the end of the year. </p><p> Non-food stores, branded Asda Living, had exceeded expectations. &quot;In its own right our Living format is now a bigger non food business than a number of high profile brands,&quot; said Bond.<br /><br />&quot;Through a combination of new formats - both smaller supermarkets to meet the needs of local communities, and through Asda Living, we will broaden our business reaching more customers in markets that are currently under served by Asda,&quot; Bond said. &quot;I&#39;m confident we have a model that we can now accelerate in this market.&quot;<br /><br />Bond said that the supermarket had &quot;become too promotional&quot; last year and that 2010 would see it &quot;return with force to our Every Day Low Prices model&quot;.</p>