In the first full quarter trading update since billionaire brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa bought Asda for £6.8bn last year, the supermarket chain announced two more top executives were leaving, as it ramps up its petrol convenience store business.
The UK’s third-largest supermarket today announced that both chief operating officer Anthony Hemmerdinger and chief strategy officer Preyash Thakra had quit – only a month after CEO Roger Burnley left the company in the midst of its transition to new ownership.
It comes after the billionaire Issa brothers teamed up with the private equity group TDR Capital to purchase the supermarket chain for £6.8bn. In the process, the Issa brothers added Asda’s 323 petrol stations to their existing empire of more than 350 sites.
And it was clear from today’s update that petrol convenience stores are a key focus for the supermarket’s new leaders, who will launch 28 new Asda “on the move” shops this year.
Following trials of the format at five petrol stations in the UK, the Issa brothers will open the new stores at 28 petrol forecourts that they control under their business EG Group.
Asda said it intends to open a further 200 similar stores next year.
The latest trading update also revealed that the supermarket’s sales excluding fuel dipped from their pandemic peak, falling 0.7 per cent to £5bn in the quarter to June – which the Issa brothers described in a statement as “incredibly resilient”.
Falling sales were attributed to the comparison with the same period last year when the hospitality industry still remained closed and consumers stocked up at supermarkets.
Asda also said sales were up 3.1 per cent from the same period in 2019 before the pandemic hit, driven by premium food range sales and general merchandise sales – a key marker for Asda compared to other supermarkets.
“We continue to see significant opportunities to drive innovation across the business and we look forward to working with the Asda team to execute our growth strategy,” the Issa brothers said.