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Walmart ‘seriously considering’ stock market entry for UK arm Asda

Asda said a lower gross profit rate reflected price markdowns in clothing following a softer summer season versus last year. The fall in gross profit rate, plus increased operating expenses, meant operating income was also lower (Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images).

AMERICAN multinational retail giant, Walmart is seriously considering a stock market entry for its British supermarket arm Asda.

Judith McKenna chief executive at Walmart International said: “While we are not rushing into anything, I want you to know that we are seriously considering a path to an IPO – a public listing – to strengthen your long-term success.”

McKenna was speaking to Asda managers at an event in Leeds on Tuesday (14).

Asda gathered over 1200 managers together to update on the progress on its ongoing market strategy and the future.

She added that any preparations for IPO would “take years” and that colleagues’ primary focus should remain on delivering its strategy to “make you the best Asda you can be”.

Asda has recorded strong sales growth in recent months following a strategy focussed on lower prices, improved store standards and improvements in its e-commerce operations.

Asda chief executive officer Roger Burnley told the managers at the Leeds meeting on plans to invest £80 million in the price throughout the rest of 2019, ensuring investment is in areas that are most important to customers.

Last month, the UK’s competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had stopped the proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda.

CMA ruling reportedly blocked one potential exit route for Walmart from the UK.