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Wal-Mart Stores Segment Sales Jump 12.8%

5/13/2004 09:06:00 AM Eastern

Bentonville, Ark. — A strengthening economy and an improving apparel environment, balanced by the impact of higher gas prices on customers, still turned into a 12.8 percent fiscal first quarter sales increase for the stores segment of Wal-Mart Stores.

Store segment sales at the giant retailer hit $43.6 billion, up from $38.6 billion in the same period last year. Comp-store sales climbed 5.9 percent.

At Wal-Mart’s wholesale club segment, Sam’s Club, first quarter sales increased 10.5 percent, for the three months ended April 30, reaching $8.6 billion, compared with $7.8 billion year-over-year. Comp-store sales rose 8.8 percent.

In the first quarter, the Wal-Mart stores segment, including superstores, recorded operating profit of $3.1 billion, an increase of 13.4 percent over the $2.8 billion reported in the first three months of the previous year. Operating profit is profit before interest, unallocated corporate expenses and income taxes, said the retailer.

The Sam’s Club segment revealed a whopping 30.9 percent increase in operating profit for the first quarter, climbing to $267 million from $204 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Consolidated Wal-Mart Stores financial numbers produced record fiscal first quarter sales and earnings. Sales jumped 14.2 percent, reaching $64.8 billion from $56.7 billion year-over-year. Comps increased 6.4 percent.

Consolidated income from operations in the first three months climbed 18.4 percent, hitting $2.2 billion, compared with $1.8 billion in the first quarter of last year.

Consolidated net income rose to $2.2 billion for the first quarter, up from $1.9 billion in the same period a year ago.