In its first year under private ownership, Asda, the well-known UK supermarket chain, has announced a significant increase in profits. This success can be attributed to the growth of its fashion operations, specifically its popular George label. Additionally, Asda benefited from more favorable year-on-year comparisons as the one-off expenses associated with the pandemic were less burdensome this time around. The company’s operating profit for 2021 surged by 42% to £693.1 million, with a reduction in Covid-related costs playing a significant role in this achievement.

While total sales during the 12-month period exhibited a marginal year-on-year growth of 0.5%, the exceptional performance of the home and outdoor categories, along with the resurgence of the George fashion business, proved crucial in offsetting declines in grocery and online sales. Grocery like-for-like sales experienced a slight dip of 0.5%, while online sales dropped by 5%. These figures reflect a return to more normal trading conditions as the impact of the pandemic subsided. However, when compared to pre-pandemic levels, food like-for-likes increased by an impressive 4.6% and online sales were a remarkable 75% higher than in 2019.

Mohsin Issa, one of the co-owners of Asda, expressed his satisfaction with the progress made since acquiring the business. He stated, “We are pleased with the progress made in the six months since we officially took over the business and are confident we can achieve this long-term ambition by providing customers with exceptional value wherever and however they choose to shop with us.” It is Asda’s ultimate goal to regain its position as the UK’s second-largest grocery retailer, a position it held before being acquired by the Issa brothers.

Relevant Links:
1. Asda Official Website
2. BBC News Article on Asda’s Profit Increase