• Like-for-like sales in year to December 31 declined 5.7%
  • Underlying operating profit decreased 11.5%
  • Grocer said performance was “behind expectations”

Asda’s full-year performance fell “behind expectations” as the struggling grocer’s profits and like-for-like sales declined.

The Walmart-owned supermarket said operating profit fell 19.2% to £845.3m in the year to December 31. Pre-tax profit dropped 18.8% to £791.7m. 

According to a Companies House filing, like-for-like sales fell 5.7% across the business, amid what it described as “intense competition” in the grocery sector. 

In a strategic report prefacing the annual accounts, the Leeds-based supermarket said its full-year performance was “behind expectations”. However, it highlighted improvement in its fourth quarter, following strategic changes to ranges and investment in price and service.

The grocer said it had focused strengthening its price proposition, developing a trusted online offer and delivering a low-cost operating model throughout the year.

Walmart will report its earnings for the second quarter of 2017, including Asda, later this month.

Earlier this year, Asda reported a 2.8% decline in like-for-like sales for the first quarter of its current financial year.

This marked the grocer’s 11th consecutive quarter of decline.

Last month, it was speculated that Asda was mulling an acquisition of value retailer B&M, but the supermarket denied the claims.