Asda’s growth slows with 0.5% like-for-like quarterly sales increase

Asda has chalked up its fourth consecutive increase in sales, with like-for like sales rising 0.5% in the final three months of 2017.

The results, released by parent company Walmart relating to the period 1 October 2017 to 31 December 2017, follow a 1.1% increase in like-for-like sales in the three months to September 30.

Despite the slower growth, Asda said the figures give further evidence of its improving performance in the market, following reports in January that Asda was the only one of the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets to hold its market share in December.

Roger Burnley, who took the helm as Asda’s president and CEO in January, said: “Our colleagues should be proud of this performance, which is testament to their hard work during the all-important Christmas trading period. Whilst Christmas seems a distant memory to them now – I’d like to thank them again for their hard work. Last year, we really improved our offer for customers – combining great product innovation with a focus on value and an easy shopping experience. Products like our Asda mince pies really appealed to customers with their great taste, value and being suitable vegan friendly, helped attract over 348,000 new customers to our stores in December and meant we were the only one of the big four to retain our market position.

“Moving into 2018 we remain absolutely focused on doing the right things for our customers to accelerate our momentum and build trust. Be that through an increased focus on Every Day Low Prices with the launch of Rolled Back Staying Back, continued innovation in our own brands, the way we make it easier for customers to shop with us or the way we support our communities. We’ve already made some really strong commitments to reduce our use of plastics and to support Fareshare and The Trussell Trust in our fight against food poverty – and we will continue to act on the issues that matter to our customers.”

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said: “In the U.K., Asda delivered positive comp sales again this quarter with particular strength during the Christmas period. We’re pleased to see customers responding to our investments in the value proposition through improved in-store experience scores and the strengthening of our private brand and online grocery offerings. We know we have more work to do in the U.K., however we are encouraged by recent results in key areas of our business.”

Walmart chief financial officer, Brett Biggs added: “Turning to the U.K….net sales increased 2.0 percent and comp sales grew 0.5 percent.  We continue to make progress in this business, and we need to do even more to further enhance the value proposition.”

Meanwhile, disappointing online sales figures for the Christmas period sent Walmart’s shares tumbling yesterday. Shares in the world’s largest retailer fell just over 10% to $94.11.

Online sales were 23% higher in the three months to December, less than half the growth recorded in the previous quarter.