Asda’s profits collapsed and the supermarket failed to stem falling sales, its disastrous set of results for 2016 have revealed.
Britain’s third biggest supermarket, owned by US retail giant Walmart, reported a 3.2% fall in revenue to £21.7bn in the year to 31 December, while pre-tax profits plummeted by almost 19% to £791.7m.
Accounts filed at Companies House also showed like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT, fell by 5.7%.
Its market share was down 0.9% to 15.7%. This is behind Tesco (27.8%) and Sainsbury’s (16%), according to data company Kantar Worldpanel.
The figures cement a turbulent time for the Leeds-based company, which has seen 11 consecutive quarters of sales declines.
“The grocery market has continued to experience low growth throughout the year and competition in the sector has remained intense. Our sales performance, relative to the market, was behind our expectations,” the company said.
However, the supermarket said it was seeing early signs of a turnaround under its new boss Sean Clarke.
The chain reported a 2.8% fall in like-for-likes sales in its first quarter of this year, a slight improvement on a 2.9% drop in comparable sales for the three months to the end of December.
Asda said in September last year that it was lowering thousands of prices on everyday favourites by an average of 15% as well as improving the quality of own-brand ranges.
It has been feeling the brunt of the ferocious price war engulfing the supermarket sector as it vies with “big four” rivals Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons for a share of the market being gnawed away by discounters Aldi and Lidl.
Earlier this year, Walmart said it was throwing more of its global buying power behind Asda to help it beat rivals on price.