Press Centre

ASDA beats its full year sales and profit plan

  • Comp sales (like for like) growth for fourth quarter up 7.2% (ex. petrol), 6.5% for full year
  • Winning new customers across the UK, with largest gains in South of England
  • Sales momentum accelerating into 2009 thanks to ASDA’s strengthened price leadership
  • CEO, Andy Bond, calls on Government to promote competition during the recession

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced today (17th February) that ASDA delivered another strong sales performance in the fourth quarter of 2008 achieving comp sales (like-for-like) growth of 7.2% (excluding petrol). This was up from 6.9% in Q3, 6% in Q2 and 5% in Q1.

A combination of increased customer numbers and higher basket spend, driven by its long-standing commitment to everyday low prices, saw ASDA beat both its sales and profit plan for the full year. Comp sales growth for the full year was 6.5% (excluding petrol). Britain’s second biggest supermarket has now out-performed the market for eleven successive quarters.

During 2008 ASDA embarked on a significant cost reduction programme that included removing 47,000 tonnes of unnecessary packaging from its products, recycling more than 150,000 tonnes of cardboard and 9,000 tonnes of plastic from its stores, and cutting eight million road miles, which in turn saved 3.75m litres of fuel. Thanks to the cost savings it has made, ASDA has been able to extend its price leadership over its rivals*.

The supermarket also further developed its online operations, extending its home shopping service to cover more than 90% of the UK population, many of whom were not previously served by an ASDA store. In addition in 2008 it launched ASDA Direct with more than 750,000 non food products, including a majority of the George clothing range. As a result online sales grew by more than 40% in 2008.

ASDA President and CEO, Andy Bond, said:

“2008 was yet another vintage year for ASDA as we out-performed both our sales and profit plan, and grew our market share to its highest ever level. It is thanks to the continued hard work of all of our store and depot colleagues who are dedicated to saving ASDA money, so that we can deliver outstanding value and customer service to millions of shoppers across the UK. The bonuses they received last week were both hard-earned and well deserved.

“As a result of our price leadership we have continued our momentum and accelerated into 2009. The introduction of market leading, permanent deals on a range of everyday essentials have struck a chord with shoppers. We are also attracting an increasing number of customers across the UK, in particular from the South of England, as they seek out real value.

“Customers tell us they want proof not promises – simple, transparent low prices not vague price claims. That’s why we’re sticking to our unique every day low-cost, every day low-price operating model, which enables us to keep our prices permanently low for customers, without cutting corners or scrimping on quality.”

Mr Bond believes rebuilding consumer confidence is key in the current economic climate, he added:

“Despite the gloomy headlines there are still millions of people willing to spend their hard-earned cash and get Britain on the road to recovery. But they will only do so if they believe they are getting genuine value for money.
“We are ready and willing to invest in dozens of deprived areas up and down the country, places that would benefit from our low prices, and investment into their local economies. But the planning system works against us. That’s why I’d urge the government to push ahead with their planning reforms and introduce a competition test that would widen the choice of supermarkets available to consumers and create thousands of much needed jobs.”

Posted in Press Centre on 17 February 2009