Wal-Mart Reports Q4, Fiscal Yr. Sales, Profit Increases

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Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores reported an 8.3 percent gain in net sales and a 4 percent increase for income from continuing operations during its fiscal fourth quarter which ended Jan. 31.

Net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008 were $106.3 billion, an increase of 8.3 percent compared to the same time the previous year. Income from continuing operations for the quarter was $4.1 billion, up 4.0 percent from $3.940 billion from 2007.

“For the fourth quarter, we topped $100 billion in sales, the first time in history that any retailer has reached this milestone in a single quarter,” said Lee Scott, Wal-Mart Stores’ president/CEO. “We had a very strong underlying operating performance, exceeding our expectations for the quarter. In addition to another year of record sales and earnings, we also delivered a record return to our shareholders this year through more than $11 billion in share repurchase and dividends.”

Scott attributed the strong results to the company’s price leadership and improved customer service, especially at the Wal-Mart Stores U.S. division.

In net sales for the fiscal fourth quarter by segment Wal-Mart stores were up 5 percent to $67.4 billion compared to the previous year’s fourth quarter, Sam’s Club was up 6.3 percent to $11.8 billion and international was up 18.8 percent to $27.0 billion.

For segment operating income Wal-Mart Stores was up $5.3 billion, up 5.3 percent vs. the previous year’s fourth quarter, Sam’s Club was up 2.5 percent to $446 million and international was up 14.5 percent to $1.74 billion.

Comp store sales during the fiscal fourth quarter without fuel Wal-Mart stores were up 1.6 percent vs. last year’s final quarter of 1.3 percent. Sam’s Club had a comp store sales gain of 2.5 percent for the quarter, down from the previous year’s 3.1 percent gain. Total U.S. comp store sales gains were 1.7 percent in the quarter, up 0.1 percent from the previous year.

Corporately net sales for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31 were $374.6 billion, an increase of 8.6 percent over fiscal year 2007. Income from continuing operations for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2008 increased 5.8 percent to $12.9 billion, up from $12.2 billion in the prior year.

“We know that the economy remains a critical factor in this new fiscal year,” Scott added. “Customers were more cautious in their spending in January. In a volatile economy, I believe we are well positioned to succeed. We will continue to strengthen our price leadership around the world.”

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