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Wal-Mart-owned Asda sees Q4 sales growth slow as Sainsbury's merger decision looms

Proactive Investors Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Asda, the UK supermarket arrm of Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) saw its sales growth slow in the fourth quarter of 2018 although it still reported a seventh consecutive quarter of positive year-on-year comparable sales growth as it waits on approval on its planned merger with J Sainsbury plc (LON:SBRY).   The food retailer reported a 1.0% increase in like-for-like sales excluding petrol in the fourth quarter of 2018, below the 2% increase reported in its third quarter, READ: CMA pushes back deadline for probe into Sainsbury’s-Asda merger Commenting on the performance, Asda's president and CEO, Roger Burnley, said: “2018 was another challenging year for the retail market and the pace of change shows no sign of abating."    He added; “The year ahead looks no less turbulent than the last, with uncertainties around Brexit playing on our customers’ minds.”   In April 2018, Asda agreed to a £7.3bn cash and shares takeover by Sainsbury’s, a deal - which if approved - would see the new combine overtake Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) as The UK's biggest supermarket group. The Competition and Markets Authority is currently probing the deal and is due to publish its preliminary findings later this month. In afternoon trading on Tuesday, shares in FTSE 100-listed Sainsbury's were up 0.6% to 287.6p. In early New York trading, Wal-Mart shares were up 3.5% at $103.52.  
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