Brexit takes another bite out of Asda sales

Walmart’s Leeds-based subsidiary Asda — which is considering a future UK stock market listing — said on Thursday that concerns over Brexit “continue to negatively affect customer spending patterns” as it posted a 0.5% decline in third quarter like-for-like sales excluding petrol.

Asda said its online grocery sales during the same period “remained strong with continued growth ahead of the market.”

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said: “In the UK, concerns over Brexit continue to negatively affect customer spending patterns …

“Comp sales declined 50 basis points during the quarter but improved sequentially compared with the Easter-adjusted comp from the second quarter …

“Online grocery sales continue to be strong with growth ahead of the market according to Kantar … roughly two times the growth of the overall market.”

Walmart CFO Brett Biggs added: “We’re continuing to manage through political and/or economic challenges that are affecting growth in several of our International markets, including the U.K. and Central America, which both had negative comps in the quarter.

“But overall, our operating fundamentals are improving. 

In the U.K., comp sales declined 0.5 percent as customers’ concerns over Brexit continue to weigh on results.

“Despite this challenging environment, the Asda team continues to drive operational and service improvements that are resonating with customers, including strong growth in online grocery.”