More pain for Asda as sales and profits plummet
Asda has laid bare a disastrous 2016 in which sales and profits collapsed as the firm came out worse for wear in the supermarket wars.
The Walmart-owned firm, which has 17 stores in Northern Ireland, saw sales drop 3.2% to £21.7bn in the year to December 31, while pre-tax profits crashed almost 19% to £791.7m.
Like-for-like sales, meanwhile, also plummeted by 5.7%, according to accounts filed at Companies House.
Asda has around 17.2% of the market share here.
The figures crystallise a torrid time for the grocery giant, which has reported 11 consecutive quarters of sales declines.
"The grocery market has continued to experience low growth throughout the year, and competition in the sector has remained intense," the company said.
"Our sales performance, relative to the market, was behind our expectations."
Asda added that, despite the disappointing results, there were encouraging signs that turnaround efforts led by new boss Sean Clarke were beginning to bear fruit.
The group pointed to the final quarter of 2016, claiming that improvements in ranges and price cuts paid off.
Mr Clarke, who took up the reins last summer after being parachuted in to replace previous boss Andy Clarke, has slashed the prices of everyday items as he attempts to arrest falling sales.