Wal-Mart's U.S. Sales Drop in Final Quarter

For the full year net sales rose 3.4% to $419 billion

Despite sharp discounts to lure holiday shoppers, Wal-Mart Stores on Feb. 22 posted a decline in sales in the United States in its key final quarter. U.S. sales fell 1.8% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 that ended January 31.

"We are disappointed" by U.S. fourth-quarter sales, Mike Duke, the company's chief executive, acknowledged. Duke said that it would take some time to see positive comparable store sales under a new plan under way for the U.S. operations of the company, based in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Net sales for the fourth quarter reached $115.6 billion, an increase of 2.5% from a year earlier.

Income from continuing operations for the quarter rose 4% to $5 billion.

For the full year, Wal-Mart profit reached $15.3 billion, an increase of 6.3% from fiscal 2009.

Net sales for the full year rose 3.4% to $419 billion boosted by a currency exchange rate benefit of $664 million.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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