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Wal-Mart Q1 Stores Segment Sales Up 9%

5/13/2003 08:28:00 AM Eastern

Bentonville, Ark. - The Wal-Mart Stores segment of Wal-Mart enjoyed a 9 percent increase in sales during the company's first fiscal quarter, hitting $38.6 billion, up from $35.4 billion in the year-ago period.

The stores segment, including supercenters, posted an operating profit of $2.75 billion, an 8.1 percent jump over the $2.55 billion recorded in the first fiscal quarter of 2002. Comp-store sales edged up 2.1 percent.

The increase in the stores segment operating profit for the period ended April 30 includes a $51 million segment effect for adopting new accounting rules for receiving money from suppliers. Had this change been applied in the same manner as the previous year, operating profit for the segment would have been $2.80 billion, an increase of 10.1 percent.

Sam's Club posted a 7.2 percent increase in sales in the first three months, reaching $7.8 billion, compared with $7.3 billion in the previous year. Comp-store sales climbed 2.2 percent.

The warehouse club segment had an operating profit of $204 million, which fell below the $216 million posted year-on-year. The decrease includes a $36 million effect for adopting new accounting rules, and had accounting for money received from suppliers been applied in the same manner as the previous year, the segment's operating profit would have been $240 million, an 11.1 percent increase.

Consolidated Wal-Mart sales and profit reached record numbers in the fiscal first quarter. Sales increased 9.7 percent, to $56.7 billion, up from $51.7 billion in the first three months a year ago.

Consolidated Wal-Mart net income for the first quarter soared 14.1 percent, hitting $1.9 billion, up from $1.6 billion in the first three months a year earlier. These results include accounting changes which reduced current first quarter earnings by about $101 million after tax.

The retailer said its best performance in the quarter came from its International segment, which recorded a 14.3 percent sales gain, to $10.3 billion, up from $9 billion.

The segment had an operating profit of $384 million in the quarter, an increase of 13.3 percent over the $339 million reported year over year. The increase includes a $67 million effect for accounting changes. Had accounting money received from vendors been applied in the same manner as the previous year, operating profit for International would have been $451 million, a 33 percent increase.

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