BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here said last week food sales in supercenters climbed 35% during the second quarter ended July 31.
en our everyday-low-price appeal and create a reason for frequency of visits and increased traffic, and they position us competitively for any economic environment," Tom Schoewe, chief financial officer, said last week in a conference call with securities analysts.
"We're pleased with the continued growth of our supercenter business, particularly the food and commodity portions," he added. "Customers are voting with their dollars, and it's clear they're telling us they like our everyday-low-price approach."
Wal-Mart said sales and earnings for the entire company hit record levels for the second quarter and first half -- the ninth consecutive quarter of record results, the company noted -- with sales up 19.9% to $46.1 billion for the quarter and up 21.7% to $89.1 billion for the half. Comparable-store sales rose 5.4% for the quarter and 7.2% for the half.
Net income for the quarter rose 27.6% to $1.6 billion and 34.8% to $2.9 billion for the half.
In the Wal-Mart Stores segment, which includes supercenters, the company said operating profit was up 17.1% for the quarter to $2.6 billion and 18.5% for the half to $4.7 billion.
Lee Scott, president and chief executive officer, said Wal-Mart's Asda stores in the United Kingdom continued to report strong comparable-sales gains and increased market share, while results in Germany were "disappointing because they have not improved as quickly as we had hoped. However, most problems appear to be self-inflicted, related to our execution, not customer acceptance, and we are seeing some progress."
He said the 72 stores that Kmart Corp., Troy, Mich., has set for closing are in locations where Wal-Mart operates stores of its own, "and we should get almost all that business if we treat customers right."