Asda’s profits tumbled sharply last year as it forked out £120m on slashing prices across hundreds of products (The Daily Mail). Supermarket giant Asda has booked a double-digit fall in profits as it poured £120m into cutting prices to spare shoppers from rising inflation (The Telegraph).

Asda’s profits took a hit last year as the UK’s third-largest grocer fought to increase its market share by absorbing higher costs rather than passing them on to customers (The Financial Times £). Sales rise shows we’re back on track, says Asda, after recording its first rise in comparable sales in five years despite suffering a sharp fall in profits (The Times £). The supermarket blamed price cuts and an overhaul of its own-brand products for the decline in pre-tax profits as its regrouped to fight back against the discounters Aldi and Lidl (The Guardian).

Sainsbury has come under more pressure after being asked to explain the reasoning behind a pay deal which could leave 9,000 staff worse off. Rachel Reeves, chairwoman of the business, energy and industrial strategy committee, asked it to explain why workers “deserve to be paid less in future for doing the same amount of work”. (The Times £)

The takeover of a stalwart of the Belgian chocolate scene, Galler, by the Qatari royal family has caused something of an existential crisis. The Flemish daily newspaper Het Nieuwsblad asked: “How Belgian is Belgian chocolate, if just about all the top players are in foreign hands?” (The Guardian)

Costco shares stumbled on Thursday evening after the wholesale retailer’s quarterly sales fell short of analysts’ expectations. (The Financial Times £)

The prospect of a further interest rate rise grew yesterday with the release of consumer borrowing figures that showed the fastest growth in nearly two years, dampening fears of waning spending power. (The Times £)

Landlords of struggling Italian chain Carluccio’s have backed a restructuring plan that could result in the closure of more than 30 of its restaurants (The Guardian). Carluccio’s has been given approval for a restructuring programme that could see it close dozens of restaurants, putting 500 jobs in doubt (The Daily Mail). Carluccio’s will go ahead with a restructuring programme that could see dozens of restaurants closed (Sky News)

Shares in sector leaders Dollar Tree and Dollar General are down sharply on Thursday after an unusually cold spring hit sales growth at the two discount retailers and prompted the former to cut its full-year outlook. (The Financial Times £)

China has exonerated a supermarket tycoon jailed for fraud and corruption a decade ago in the first of several retrials of convicted entrepreneurs aimed at reassuring a private sector worried by state influence over the economy. (The Financial Times £)