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Wal-Mart Stores Q4 Sales Rise 11.3%

2/19/2004 09:05:00 AM Eastern

Bentonville, Ark. — Fiscal fourth-quarter sales at Wal-Mart’s Wal-Mart Stores segment jumped 11.3 percent, hitting $50.6 billion, up from $45.5 billion in the year-ago period, while comp-store sales increased 4.4 percent.

Operating profit for the giant retailer’s stores segment climbed 8.3 percent, reaching $3.9 billion, compared with $3.6 billion in the same three months a year ago.

For the 12 months, ended Jan. 31, the Wal-Mart Stores segment enjoyed a 10.9 percent increase in sales, rising to $174.2 billion, from $157.1 billion the previous year. Comp-store sales for the period increased 3.9 percent.

Operating profit for Wal-Mart Stores during its fiscal year rose 9.1 percent, coming in at $12.9 billion, compared with the $11.4 billion registered in a similar time frame a year ago.

Sam’s Club, the warehouse operation at Wal-Mart posted a 9.5 percent sales increase in the fourth quarter, hitting $9.6 billion, up from $8.7 billion year-on-year. Comps climbed 6.7 percent in the three months, while operating profit reached $343 million, a whopping 17.1 percent increase over the $293 million reported in the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year.

For the 12 months, Sam’s Club sales rose 8.9 percent, to $34.5 billion, from $31.7 billion, while comp sales climbed 5.3 percent. Warehouse club operating profit for the year increased 10.1 percent, reaching $1.1 billion, up from $1 billion year-over-year.

Wal-Mart recorded record consolidated sales and earning for its fiscal fourth quarter, with sales rising 12.2 percent, to $74.5 billion, compared with $66.4 billion in the year-ago three months. Total U.S. comp-store sales for the quarter increased 4.8 percent.

Consolidated income from continuing operations after minority interest and taxes hit $2.7 billion in the fourth quarter, a 11 percent increase over the $2.5 billion recorded a year earlier. Net income also was $2.7 billion for the three months, compared with $2.5 billion year-on-year.

Consolidated yearly sales rose 11.6 percent, reaching $256.3 billion, compared with $229.6 billion the previous year. Total U.S. comps were up 4.1 percent.

Consolidated income from continuing operations after minority interest and taxes for the 12 months was reported at $8.9 billion, up 13.3 percent from the $7.8 billion notched a year ago. Net income reached $9.1 billion for the 12 months, compared with $8 billion year-over-year.