Asda has reported a 0.1% drop in like-for-like sales during its fourth quarter, citing 2013 as a tough year for UK retailers.
In a trading update for the 13 weeks ended 3 January 2014, the company also revealed like-for-like sales for the full year were up 0.5%.
Andy Clarke, president and chief executive of Asda, said: “It will come as no surprise that 2013 was a tough year for UK retailers and there’s little doubt that the UK retail market is undergoing significant and permanent structural change."
Clarke added that Asda was “playing the long game” by making decisions to ensure long-term growth. During 2014 the business will invest £200m into lowering prices, and £750m in further developing its estate, particularly in London and the south east, he said.
Newly appointed chief financial officer, Alex Russo, said the retailer was executing its five-year strategy, outlined at the end of 2013, with “agility and pace”.
As part of its five-year plan, Asda aims to invest £1bn in lowering prices, and £250m in improving quality, style and design.