Asda notches up four consecutive quarters of sales growth

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 18, 2018

Supermarket giant Asda has rung up its fourth consecutive quarter of sales growth, shrugging off the tough retail climate as it gears up for a proposed £15bn merger with Sainsbury's.

The US-owned retailer, which is readying itself for a blockbuster merger with larger United Kingdom rival Sainsbury's, booked a 3.4 per cent increase in like-for-like sales in the three months to the end of March.

"Our Q1 performance - even when adjusted for increased sales from an early Easter - represents genuine momentum with four consecutive quarters of growth", said Burnley.

Online sales accelerated at a rate of 8.3 per cent for grocery, but the star of the show was clothing, with sales on up 21.9 per cent.

"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".

The results were released as part of Wal-Mart's update to the USA market this afternoon, in which the company unveiled a 4.4 per cent rise in revenue to $122.7bn (£90.9bn) for the quarter.

Asda has been leading a turnaround in an attempt to improve sales amid a long-running supermarket price war.

"Whilst we are not complacent, we are positive about our growing momentum and excited by the opportunity that our proposed merger with Sainsbury's offers to accelerate our successful strategy and go further, faster", he added.

Walmart-owned Asda is on course to merge with Sainsbury's in a £12 billion deal, which will allow it to further invest in lower prices.

The update comes as Sainsbury's and Asda shook the grocery sector last month by unveiling a mammoth deal to create a grocery giant with a market share larger than Britain's biggest supermarket Tesco.

Consumers have been promised cheaper everyday items, although it is not yet known where the price cuts will fall.

Asda has also been axing jobs in the United Kingdom, announcing in January that 28 roles will go at its head office on top of 300 job losses revealed in September as part of a major cost-cutting drive. There was a second-half profit increase of 11 per cent.

The group delivered £185m in cost savings during the year, driven by synergies linked to its integration of Argos.

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