Asda has posted a 4.7% fall in like-for-like sales for its second quarter, in what it described as “disappointing, but a short-term picture”.

Chief executive Andy Clarke spoke today in London about the results for the 11 weeks to 30 June.

He said: “We continue to navigate a steady course through the worst storm in retail history, despite another challenging quarter. Predicting that 2015 was going to be a volatile year, I didn’t expect to report a positive sales figure, but I’m not distracted by the short-term picture. We have an enviably stable business with balanced books and the right strategy to return us to sales growth.”

Chief financial officer Alex Russo added: “Behind the negative sales number lies a more positive story for Asda. We are maintaining balance in an impulsive market and performing solidly in growth channels, maximising and accelerating our areas of strength while addressing areas of underperformance.”

The duo also highlighted steps already being taken to accelerate the retailer’s five-year strategy including investments in service, stores and changes to maintain recent improvements in home shopping.

Clarke continued: “We’re currently completing an intensive piece of research to understand what drives current buying decisions, so that we can deliver real solutions for our customers in the ‘Asda way’. We won’t get side-tracked by the short-term fixes that are saturating the supermarket industry.”