Asda (Financials)

Financial overview

  • Total group sales rose 4.7% to £25.62bn in FY2023, with growth in retail sales partly offset by a decline in fuel sales
  • Retail sales excluding fuel increased 7.1% to £21.90bn
  • Like-for-like sales excluding fuel up 5.4%
  • Online operation estimated at £3.18bn in 2023 - 16.9% of total food sales
  • Some profit recovery in FY2023 after profitability had come under pressure from soaring inflation and ongoing investments in price 
  • Asda Stores Ltd was only marginally profitable at the operating level in FY2022 and swung back into the red at pre-tax level
  • For latest financial results, click here

Although Asda Group Limited and Asda Stores Limited have not yet filed results for the 2023 financial year at Companies House, Asda reported that sales excluding fuel grew 7.1% year on year to £21.90bn in the year to 31 December 2023 (FY2023), from £20.45bn the previous year, as it continued to focus on growth.

Approximately 86% of Asda sales excluding fuel were grocery sales in FY2023, with the vast majority of the rest in George clothing and general merchandise.

Asda food like-for-like sales were up 5.4% in FY2023, following a 0.2% decline the previous year. Food sales increased 7.1% year on year in FY2023, while fuel sales declined 7.6% year on year.

Online sales accounted for 16.9% of total sales in FY2023, up slightly from 16.2% the previous year.

Adjusted EBITDA after rent increased 24% year on year to £1.08bn.

Results for the 2022 financial year

Total revenue, including fuel, rose 4.2% to £24,461.7m at Asda Stores in the year to December 2022, up from £23,473.9m in FY2021. This was bolstered by strong fuel sales, however, with retail sales excluding fuel edging up by just 0.1% to £20,436m in FY2022, compared to £20,409m the year before. And sales growth turned negative once again on a like-for-like basis, slipping 0.2% against 0.6% LFL growth in FY2021.    

Whilst performance in the first half of FY2022 was “challenging”, with the company experiencing a decline in like-for-like sales against lockdown-inflated comparatives and some loss of market share, performance recovered in the second half. The retailer said that “strong growth” in H2 was driven by initiatives to support customers during the cost-of-living crisis, including investment in price and quality.   

This took its toll on the bottom line, however, and was further exacerbated by “supply side inflation impacting the cost of goods and energy costs, alongside wage increases to support colleagues and increased spend relating to Project Future (the company’s project to move from Walmart IT systems to standalone IT systems)”.   

Asda’s profitability has fluctuated in recent years and the grocer swung back into the red at the pre-tax level in FY2022, posting a pre-tax loss of £224m against a £303m pre-tax profit the year before. This reflected a 97% slump in operating profit to just £14m as a result of the factors outlined above, down from £432m in FY2021 when the grocer had benefited from a £63.1m gain on sale-and-leaseback deals and an increase in financial income of £86.0m.   

Profits had been under pressure at Asda for some time as the grocer has continued to invest in pricing in a bid to drive flagging sales.   

Market share

Asda and Sainsbury’s have been jostling for second position in the grocery market for a long time, although Sainsbury’s has had the upper hand of late. According to recent Kantar data, Asda’s share came in at 10% over the 12 weeks to 09 June 2024, against Sainsbury’s 15.2% share.

Ecommerce sales performance

Asda’s online sales participation was 16.9% of food sales during the 2023 financial year, up from 16.2% in 2022. With food sales accounting for 86% of total sales excluding fuel in 2023, this suggests online sales of around £3,183m, compared to approximately £2,815m in 2022.

Online sales share had been 16.2% of food sales in 2022, with food sales representing 85% of total sales excluding fuel.

Ecommerce sales had soared in 2020 as consumers turned to online shopping during the pandemic. The grocer reported that online sales more than doubled over the three months to end-June 2020, while online click-and-collect orders quadruped over the same period due to the changes in consumer behaviour brought on by the health crisis.  

Stores financial analysis

With sales growth temporarily restored, a five-year run of declining sales densities (sales per sq ft) was halted in 2018 when sales densities edged up to £870/sq ft or so according to Retail Navigator estimates.

The improvement was short lived, however, as densities moved down again to £860/sq ft in 2019 according to Retail Navigator estimates before falling back to just £835/sq ft in 2020 as store footfall fell in the pandemic. Bolstered by customers returning to stores, sales densities recovered over FY2021 and FY2022 to an estimated £865/sq ft in 2022.

The opening of a raft of convenience stores through the acquisition of the majority of EG Group’s UK business and Arthur Foodstores Limited (”comprised 129 convenience stores with petrol forecourts attached, a carve-out from the Co-operative Group”) helped propel Asda’s total stores and food service site number to 1,200 in FY2023 from 633 in FY2022, which saw a surge in its sales area for FY2023.

In its annual report for FY2023 , Asda said: ”Across both acquisitions we have converted 470 stores, taking our convenience portfolio from three to almost 500 stores in the space of six months.”

The acquisitions are key to Asda’s plans to “significantly step up the roll-out” of its Asda Express convenience stores. In November 2023, Asda opened its 100th Asda Express store, following the speedy rollout of Co-op and EG Group conversions.

Retail Navigator estimated that sales densities came in at around £780/sq ft in FY2023.

Current financial year

Q1 FY2024

Asda total revenues excluding fuel grew 6.6% year on year to £5.3bn for the first quarter of FY2024 (Q1 FY2024) ended 31 March 2024, driven by George and investment in value. Like-for-like sales were up 1.4%.

George clothing revenues climbed 3% year on year to £293m and 3% on a like-for-like basis, while homewares sales rose 11.7%.

Asda said that post Q1 it had refinanced more than £3.0bn of debt “strengthening its capital structure into the next decade”.

Online grocery accounted for 18% of food sales, with a 5.6% uptick in the number of average weekly orders in Q1.

Asda co-owner Mohsin Issa said: “Asda made good progress against its strategy in the quarter, laying the foundations for long-term success – including completing the conversion of our newly acquired sites to Asda Express, as part of our strategic expansion into the growth markets of convenience and food-to-go. We did this while continuing to deliver great range, value and convenience, including investing in lower prices and the quality of our food and non-food at a time when the household budgets of our customers remain under pressure.

“George at Asda again outperformed the value market in fashion and homewares, and it is very encouraging to see our investment in the brand bearing fruit both online and in stores.”


Asda employee number for FY2023 will be updated when accounts are filed at Companies House.

Asda has made regular rounds of job cuts across the business over the past few years as management takes steps to simplify the shopping experience and drive operational efficiencies.   

Reflecting its ongoing efforts to cut costs, the headcount at Asda Stores was reduced by around 20,000 to just over 141,000 over the five years to 2020. While the following year saw a slight rise in headcount to more than 143,000, the total was brought down again to just over 141,000 in 2022.   

Overall sales per employee across Asda Stores have continued to rise steadily and came in at more than £173,000 in 2022.  

Asda Stores staff costs to sales ratio had been hovering at around the 11% mark for several years, but increased by a full point to 12.3% in the difficult 2020 financial year following an 8.1% increase in staff costs. The ratio has been brought down again subsequently as trading has normalised following the pandemic and came in at 11% in 2022.   


Asda stated that it expects the UK food and non-food markets to remain resilient in the current financial year, with inflation returning to nearer historical norms during the year.

However, it admitted that customers are likely to continue to feel the impact of cost pressures on their household budgets.

Asda will continue to focus on its value offer, which will be supported by its expansion within convenience “whereby we can offer value to a greater number of communities in new locations”.

Asda sales should continue to rise in low single digits over the five years to 2028. Growth will be driven by its ecommerce business, where ongoing investment in infrastructure is expected to continue to bolster sales, while its convenience market is also set to strengthen following the recent acquisitions and organic growth. By 2028, Retail Navigator expects online sales to account for around 13.5% of total Asda sales of the order of £30bn.

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