Walmart paid 3 billion pounds in dividends for Asda

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Walmart was paid approx. 3 billion pounds of dividends in the Walmart segment.

LONDON, Jun 10 - British supermarket group Asda on Thursday announced an acceleration in underlying sales growth in its latest quarter and said Walmart was paying nearly 3 billion pounds in dividends before selling most of the business.

Walmart and the private equity group TDR Capital completed their purchase in February of a majority stake in Asda from Zuber and Mohsin Issa in a deal with Walmart that valued the chain at 6.8 billion pounds.

The transaction, which sees Walmart retain a minority stake, is still subject to final regulatory approval from Britain's Competition Regulator.

Asda said buy-for-like sales, excluding fuel, fell to 31 March in its first quarter, following 3.3% increase year-on-year compared to growth of 5.1% in the last quarter.

The growth was driven by non food categories and national supermarkets during a third period of national lockdown measures to stem the COVID '19 pandemic, which included the closure of non-essential shops.

Popular clothing sales increased by 31% and general merchandise sales by 39%, with a rise in demand for outdoor furniture, BBQs and garden accessories. Total digital sales increased 88%.

While the closure of non-essential retail during the first quarter helped promote demand, our constant focus on keeping prices low, developing good quality products and delivering in-store partnerships with brands like B&Q, The Entertainer and Greggs continues to resonate with customers, said CEO Roger Burnley, who will leave the group next year.

Asda said there are signs that Burnley customers are feeling much more optimistic about the future, noting almost 60% of those it surveyed in recent months say they were looking forward to a summer of socialising.

Walmart also reported results for 2020, when it was in full ownership under Asda.

They showed that Dividend payments to Walmart were made during the year and a dividend in kind of 1.65 billion pounds were made on 12.7 billion pounds.

Total sales, excluding fuel, increased 3.6% to 20.3 Billion pounds, with like-for-like sales up 3.5%.

However, the operating profit fell 16.7% to 486.5 million pounds as a result of COVID costs.

All three of Asda's main British rivals - Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco -- have also reported big profits losses this year. The term '' means '' that we are talking about in a broad spectrum.

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