Over 19,000 Asda colleagues are celebrating after seeing their investment in the company’s Save As You Earn (SAYE) Share Save Scheme produce a bumper return of £44m.
Colleagues were offered the chance to save between £5 and £350 directly from their salary each month for a three-year period. At the end of the three years, they then have the opportunity to buy shares in the company's American owner, Walmart, at a 20 per cent discount on the market value when they started saving. They are then able to sell their shares, offering the chance to cash in with a profitable return.
Those who signed up to the plan in 2017 would have seen their investment double over the three years. This year’s return is boosted by an increase of nearly £50 per share in the Walmart share price. Three years ago, the option price including the 20 per cent discount on the Walmart share price, was £46.00, while the share price when the latest plan matured on 1st July was £95.53.
A colleague putting aside the average saving of £70 per month would save £2,520 over the three years, but with the increase in share price, will receive £5,158.62 back, giving an average return of £2,638.62. Someone saving the maximum of £350 per month would take home £26,079.69, of which £13,479.69 is profit.
Hayley Tatum, Asda's Chief People Officer, said: “We are immensely proud of our colleagues and thankful for the huge amount of hard work they have put in. Offering them a risk-free way to save is one of the ways we show how much we appreciate their efforts.”
Michael Lang, who works in Asda’s Guiseley store, saved £200 a month and is using the money to pay for his wedding and is taking his wife-to be on honeymoon to Australia. He said: “We wouldn’t be able to get such a great return anywhere else and it means that I’ll be able to celebrate in style. The whole store is so excited about their savings and what they will be able to do with the money.”