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Asda reports growing sales momentum

Today (17th May 2018 ), Walmart has reported its financial returns for the first quarter (1st January 2018 to 31th March 2018) including results for Asda.

The supermarket has stepped on sales again, reporting like-for-like growth of 3.4% in the quarter. Adjusting for Easter, which fell within the first quarter of 2018, like-for-like sales grew 1.0%.

Commenting on Asda’s performance, Walmart President and CEO, Doug McMillon said: “Recently, we took some strategic actions to further position our portfolio for long-term growth. We were pleased with the response of our colleagues in the UK following our announcement of the proposed merger of Asda with Sainsbury. We believe this proposed combination is good for customers and colleagues as well as shareholders. In the UK, we saw sequential improvement in the business as comp sales increased for the fourth consecutive quarter. We continue to remain focused on improving the customer experience in our stores and providing value for customers by investing in lower prices.”

Walmart Chief Financial Officer, Brett Biggs said: “We continue to execute against our strategic priorities of delivering disciplined growth and being a low cost operator. We’re being thoughtful and deliberate as we assess our portfolio and make decisions about where and how we’ll grow. Turning to the UK, net sales increased 3.7 percent and comp sales grew 3.4 percent. The team continues to focus on improving the customer experience through price perception and quality private brand products.

Asda President and CEO, Roger Burnley, said: “Our Q1 performance – even when adjusted for increased sales from an early Easter – represents genuine momentum with four consecutive quarters of growth. During the first three months of the year, we have continued to invest sensibly where it matters most to our customers with lower prices, innovation in our Own Brand and further improving their shopping experience whether in store or online.

“Through Q1, we again stepped on our commitment to every day low prices with the launch of 'Rolled Back Staying Back' which now extends to 667 lines that customers buy the most, launched 216 new Own Brand products including adding 29 to 'free from', a range which is increasingly important to our customers. We attracted 246,000* new customers to our stores in the quarter and made shopping with us online for groceries, where sales grew 8.3%, even more convenient with the introduction of voice ordering via Google Assistant.

“Whilst we are not complacent, we are positive about our growing momentum and excited by the opportunity that our proposed merger with Sainsbury’s PLC offers to accelerate our successful strategy and go further, faster.”

*Kantar Worldpanel data for the 12 weeks ending 25 March 2018

Asda Q1 highlights

  • Asda also achieved 8.3% growth in online grocery sales and 21.9% growth in George.com sales
  • During Q1, Asda launched 216 new Own Brand products and further improved the quality of 140 products
  • Asda launched 29 new “free from” lines and won 19 awards for our free from products
  • Asda began the year with a targeted price investment in a “Roll Back” campaign and more recently, launched “Rolled Back Staying Back” which now extends to 667 lines
  • Asda introduced Google Assistant to enable customers to use voice recognition for grocery home shopping
  • Asda introduced scan and go in 100 stores
  • Asda began testing new Walmart technology – a parcel tower in its Trafford Park store - which allows click and collect customers to pick up a package in 60 seconds
  • Following customer and colleague research, Asda launched a £20 million partnership with Fareshare and the Trussell Trust to help one million people out of food poverty