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Britain's Asda reports first sales growth in three years

LONDON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Asda, the British supermarket arm of Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, on Thursday reported its first underlying sales growth for three years, helped by food price inflation and very weak comparative numbers last year.

Asda, the UK's third largest grocer after market leader Tesco and No. 2 Sainsbury's, said like-for-like sales rose 1.8 percent in its fiscal second quarter.

That compares with a 2.8 percent fall in its first quarter, which was an eleventh straight decline.

In Asda's second quarter last year sales slumped 7.5 percent - its worst ever quarterly result.

"Customers responded to investments in the value proposition, and we continued to see sequential improvement in the business, including customer traffic and ticket," Wal-Mart said. (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)