BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here said Tuesday it achieved record sales and earnings for its first fiscal quarter, despite a decline in traffic that resulted in lower comparable-store sales.
Net income for the 13-week quarter, which ended April 30, increased 9.7% to $3.3 billion, while sales rose 6% to $99.1 billion.
Comps in the U.S. declined 1.1% — dropping 1.4% at Walmart U.S. and rising 0.7%, excluding fuel, at Sam's Club. Broken down by operating segment, sales rose 1.1% to $62.3 billion at Walmart U.S. stores; 4.6% to $11.7 billion at Sam's Club; and 21.4% to $25 billion at Walmart International.
Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman of the company's Wal-Mart Stores division, said comps increased in snacks, beverages, produce, seafood and dairy, “while dry grocery and consumables were soft.”
Pharmacy business was strong, with comps in maintenance and wellness categories such as vitamins and adult nutrition generating “consistently strong comps,” he pointed out.
Slower traffic contributed to comp-store sales decline, Castro-Wright added, with customers indicating they are reducing their store visits due to higher gas prices and spending less overall, especially on discretionary items. Traffic declined during the quarter, but average ticket size was up 200 basis points over the fourth quarter, he noted, “so customers are stocking up when they are in our stores.”
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