Wal-Mart's Profit Jumps 3.2% in Q3

CEO cites increased productivity and improved inventory management

On Nov. 12 Wal-Mart posted third quarter profits of $3.23 billion, up 3.2% from a year ago, beating market expectations. The firm, which is the world's largest retailer, overcame battered consumer confidence in its principal market, the United States.

Net sales for the third quarter were $98.667 billion, an increase of 1.1% from the same period last year. But sales would have been even higher if not for foreign exchange fluctuations, the company said.

Mike Duke, CEO of said of the results: "Increased productivity and improved inventory management led to a better customer experience and contributed to our strong financial performance."

"The sales environment continued to be difficult this quarter, but customer traffic is up throughout the company. We gained market share, especially in the United States, the United Kingdom and Mexico, as customers around the globe continued to count on Walmart for quality and low prices," he added.

Following the results, Wal-Mart raised its outlook for the coming quarter and rest of its fiscal year."We continue to operate in a very challenging economy and remain dedicated to provide the lowest prices to our customers around the world," said Tom Schoewe, Walmart CFO. "We believe Walmart is positioned better than any other retailer to succeed with customers this holiday season."

Wal-Mart is the biggest private employer in the United States. It has more than 1.4 million workers at home and more than two million globally.

Aside from the U.S., its overseas operations are in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua and Britain.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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