Asda's US owner has said it is "seriously considering" a stock market flotation for the UK supermarket after the chain's deal to merge with rival Sainsbury's was blocked.

Walmart - the world's biggest retailer - told Asda managers at an event on Tuesday it was mulling listing Asda, but that any preparations would "take years".

Judith McKenna, Walmart's international chief executive, said: "While we are not rushing into anything, I want you to know that we are seriously considering a path to an IPO - an initial public listing - to strengthen your long-term success."

She added: "Walmart does not have a one-size-fits-all approach to operating its international markets, but a consistent focus on strong local businesses powered by Walmart."

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The comments come after Britain's competition watchdog put paid to Sainsbury's audacious £12 billion bid to merge with rival Asda earlier this month.

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank owner CYBG has cheered a "resilient" half-year performance despite market pressures and costs of its £1.7 billion takeover of Virgin Money.

Shares in the group rose as much as 10 per cent before settling 6% higher as investors welcomed a robust underlying performance, in spite of ongoing signs of an impact from intense competition in the mortgage market.

CYBG - which was catapulted into sixth place in the lending market after its Virgin Money acquisition last October - said it swung to a £42 million profit for the six months to March 31, against losses of £95m a year earlier.

B&Q owner Kingfisher said the DIY chain has enjoyed a sales bounceback thanks to warm spring weather after Britain basked in a sun-soaked Easter weekend.

The group reported like-for-like sales growth of 2.8% for B&Q in the UK and Ireland for the three months to April 30, which marks a turnaround on recent trading and from a year earlier when the Beast from the East extreme weather pushed sales 9% lower.

Kingfisher said this year's warmer weather helped boost sales by around 6%, although this was offset by a hit of about 2% as it ended some showroom installation services.