International sales boost Wal-Mart

Posted by Josette Dunn on 19th May 2010

Retail giant Wal-Mart has posted a 5.9% increase in revenues, as strong international sales offset slower growth in the US.The company said yesterday (18 May) that first-quarter sales climbed to US$99.1bn.

Sales from Wal-Mart’s international businesses, which takes in markets including the UK, China and Canada, climbed 21.4%. Overseas sales were up almost 9% on a constant-currency basis.

Earlier today, Wal-Mart’s UK arm Asda reported that its total sales in the first quarter had grown in the “low single-digits”. However, its first-quarter like-for-like sales had dipped 0.3%.

Wal-Mart’s US operations, meanwhile, saw total sales rise 1.1% – but comparable-store sales fell 1.4%.

During the period, Wal-Mart embarked on an aggressive price-cutting campaign in its home market, which dented dollar value sales and margins.

The company said that gross margins fell to 24.6% from 24.7% in the comparable period of last year.

For the period ended 30 April, Wal-Mart reported a profit of $3.32bn, up from $3.02bn in the first quarter of fiscal 2009/10.

Looking to the second quarter, Wal-Mart said that it expects same-store sales at its US locations to fall by 1-2%.

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