Asda has announced a pre-tax profits rise of 0.8% to £774.3m for the year ending December 31 2012, compared with £767.8m the year before.
The Walmart-owned retailer achieved a 1% increase in like-for-like sales, excluding petrol and VAT, while it reported a 4.6% increase in group revenues to £22.8bn. Underlying operating profit rose 7.6% to £1.1bn.
British supermarkets must avoid any substantial increase in food prices over the next few years, according to Andy Clarke, president and CEO of Asda.
Asda chief financial officer Richard Mayfield said that the retailer’s consistently low price, growth in online and internal ‘We Operate for Less’ cost-cutting programme had boosted profits.
He said: “In the context of the uncertain economic outlook, the Asda purpose to save customers money remains highly relevant to customers and our strong performance in 2012 reflects our progressing in delivering this to them.”
Mayfield listed the acquisition of Turkmen Tedarik Hizmetleri, which manages the sourcing of clothing for George from Egypt and Turkey, and the opening of 23 new stores, as highlights of the year.
Asda has had a bumpier time in 2013, with its market share falling to 17.3% for the 12 weeks ending 15 September [Kantar Worldpanel]. The supermarket secured a 1.3% rise in like-for-like sales for Q1 and a 0.7% increase in Q2.