Walmart today released its Q3 earnings for the fiscal year ending January 2012. Full details are available on the Walmart Investor Relations website at www.walmartstores.com/investors. In the analyst conference call, Walmart references Asda’s performance for the calendar quarter July-September 2011 where sales grew over the quarter by 1.3 per cent, excluding fuel and VAT.
On the call, Walmart International President and CEO said the following about Asda:
“In the U.K., ASDA had a solid third quarter, growing sales and growing operating income faster than sales, excluding fuel. In the third quarter of this year, comparable sales, excluding fuel, increased 1.3 percent. Traffic declined by 1.3 percent and average ticket increased 2.6 percent, as customers continue to consolidate their trips in the face of high fuel prices.
“The U.K. grocery market is entering into what is traditionally a heavy promotional period in time for Christmas. ASDA however, continues with a very simple promise to customers – our prices are 10 percent cheaper than the competition on comparable baskets, or we’ll give you the difference.
“And ASDA’s customers like it. Since this year, the prices of more than 13 million baskets have been checked online. Expenses grew slower than sales in the third quarter. To deliver cost savings, sustainable productivity programs are embedded in our operations, which help fund lower prices for customers. For example, the Fewer, Cheaper Miles program is delivering cost savings within the distribution network by reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
“The conversion of the Netto stores to ASDA supermarkets continues to progress on schedule, and sales and profits are exceeding our expectations.
“More than 70 percent were trading as ASDA Supermarkets by the end September, and today we have only a few left to complete. ASDA’s online grocery sales continued to grow strongly in the third quarter, and now customers can order groceries using a Smartphone. The on-time delivery rate has improved, with 19 of 20 customers receiving their purchase within the allotted time slot. ASDA opened a record number of stores this quarter, for a total of 83, which includes 77 Netto conversions. This brings ASDA to a total of 542 stores, including 139 supermarkets.
“ASDA’s customers are asking for great quality at great prices, so ASDA is extending its private brand ranges, and the premium “Extra Special” range is now backed by leading cookery school Leiths. Just recently, ASDA received recognition for both its quality products and being the lowest priced supermarket.”
This morning Asda announced that it was on track to complete its conversion programme for Netto stores next week, bringing its supermarket division to 180 stores by the end of the year. The retailer also announced it was on track to deliver £800 million in savings to customers by 2020 through its sustainability initiatives. Both releases are available here at the press centre: sustainability release and Netto conversions release.