BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here rode a sales increase of 24% to a 44.7% earnings gain for its fiscal first quarter ended April 30.
Market grocery stores and its combination Supercenters, gained 15.1% for the quarter to $27.5 billion. Wal-Mart's international division gained 118.7% to $7.2 billion, the company said. Its international sales were boosted by the acquisition of the Asda chain last year.
Sales increased 9.1% on a same-store basis, represented by a 9.6% increase for Wal-Mart Stores and a 7.0% sales increase for Sam's Club membership stores.
Earnings climbed 44% from $916 million to $1.3 billion, the company said. The 30 cents per share gain exceeded analysts' estimates by a penny, according to First Call. Earnings of 20 cents a share in the first quarter of 1999 included a four-cent charge for a change in accounting practices.
Wal-Mart opened seven discount stores, 32 Supercenters, 10 units in its International division and two new Sam's Club stores during the quarter.