Asda Reports Eighth Quarter of Growth as Future IPO Explored

(Bloomberg) -- Walmart Inc.’s Asda reported its eighth consecutive quarter of growth after the U.S. retail giant said Tuesday that it was “seriously” considering an initial public offering for the U.K. grocer in the future.

  • Asda delivered 0.5% like-for-like sales growth excluding petrol for the first quarter of 2019. Figures were adjusted to account for the later Easter date compared to last year.

Key Insights

  • Walmart said it’s continuing to focus on strengthening Asda’s long-term success following the U.K. antitrust regulator’s ruling to block its planned merger with rival supermarket J Sainsbury Plc. Asda’s retail parent reiterated the potential for an IPO in the future.
  • The company pointed to a “challenging backdrop” in the U.K., but didn’t provide any detail. Discounters Aldi and Lidl continue to gain market share, placing pressure on the big four U.K. supermarkets.
  • Asda achieved double-digit sales growth on its website and clothing site, as it continues to drive its digital strategy. The grocer said its became more competitive on price this quarter and its private brand penetration grew.

Market Reaction

  • Walmart rose 1% at 7:37 a.m. in New York trading before U.S. markets opened.

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