Asda sales dip after Sainsbury's deal demise

Asda's mega-merger with rival Sainsbury's was blocked by regulators

Asda's mega-merger with rival Sainsbury's was blocked by regulators

Asda reported a fall in like-for-like sales today following the later timing of Easter, amid growing City speculation over a possible floatation for the Walmart-owned grocery giant.

The group reported like-for-like sales growth of 2.8% for B&Q in the United Kingdom and Ireland for the three months to April 30, which marks a turnaround on recent trading and from a year earlier when the Beast from the East extreme weather pushed sales 9% lower. However, without the adjustment, a decline of 1.1 per cent was recorded.

The comments come weeks after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked a proposed £12bn merger between Asda and Sainsbury's.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) vetoed the deal, saying it would lead to increased prices in stores, online and at petrol stations across the United Kingdom, with shoppers left "worse off" and quality affected.

The results come days after its USA owner Walmart said it is "seriously considering" a stock market flotation for Asda, but that any preparations would "take years".

He said Asda was "making progress on key strategic priorities", pointing to improved price competitiveness and increased sales of own-brand products.

Walmart chief executive and president Doug McMillon added: "In the United Kingdom, we are disappointed that the proposed merger of Asda with Sainsbury's isn't happening because it would've been good for customers and the businesses. Asda continues to focus on delivering against our strategy and has built momentum in the business, which is impressive".