Asda updates on Q4 trading as Issa brothers acquisition completes

Date : 18 February 2021

Nick Gladding

Senior Retail Analyst

Asda has confirmed that trading for 2020 finished on a strong note, lifted by particularly rapid growth online. The news follows Tuesday’s announcement the acquisition of the business by the Issa Brothers and TDR Capital has now completed.

Pick-up in growth for Q4 and Christmas

In the three months to December 31, LFL sales grew by 5.1%, Asda’s fastest rate of any quarter in 2020. For the Christmas period trading was even brisker with growth of 6.9% in the eight weeks to December 24, though this was still a little behind the pace of its Big Four rivals.

During the period Asda noted a significant shift in shopping patterns, with customers spending more on premium categories to treat themselves after a difficult year. Demand for premium Extra Special lines increased significantly, particularly in the meat, fish and poultry categories, with sales in December up by 30% year on year.

Impressive online growth

Combined net sales across asda.com and George.com increased by 76% year-on-year. This was enabled by a 90% increase in weekly slot capacity between March and December 2020.

In-store partnerships strategy accelerated

During the period Asda has continued to develop new partnerships to create new footfall drivers for its stores. Examples include:

  • Fashion brand Accessorize, which has opened an in-aisle fixture for bags jewellery and seasonal clothing at Asda’s Sutton Coldfield store
  • B&Q’s opening of its first two compact stores in Asda Sheffield and Dagenham
  • The rollout of existing partnerships with musicMagpie, Claire’s Accessories and Decathlon to further stores

Completion of Asda acquisition by Issa Brothers

On Tuesday, Walmart announced the Issa brothers and TDR Capital had completed their acquisition of a majority stake in Asda, valuing the business at £6.8bn on a debt-free and cash-free basis. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which is currently expected in Q2 2021. Walmart will retain an equity investment in Asda, with an ongoing commercial relationship and a seat on the Board.

Walmart revenues reach record $560bn

For details of Walmart’s Q4 trading and new growth plans, click here

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