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Wal-Mart Stores Notch 11.8% Q3 Sales Hike

Bentonville, Ark. – As the economy continues to sputter, and more consumers choose to shop discount retailers, Wal-Mart’s numbers continue to rise.

The nation’s largest retailer registered an 11.8 percent sales increase at its Wal-Mart stores segment during its fiscal third quarter, reaching $37.6 billion, up from $33.6 billion in the year-ago period. Comp-store sales rose 4.2 percent at Wal-Mart stores.

Operating profit in the Wal-Mart stores segment jumped 15.5 percent during the third quarter, hitting $2.7 billion, compared with $2.3 billion in the same three months last year.

Sam’s Club sales for the three months, ended Oct. 31, increased 6.1 percent, to $7.7 billion, up from $7.3 billion in the same period in 2001. Wal-Mart’s warehouse club segment, however, reported only a slight increase in comp store results for the third quarter, coming in at 0.4 percent.

Sam’s Club had an operating profit for the third quarter of $240 million, a decrease of 2.4 percent, compared with the $246 million recorded in the same three months a year ago.

For the nine months, the Wal-Mart stores segment enjoyed a 13.7 percent sales climb, reaching $111.6 billion, up from $98.2 billion in the previous year. Same store sales rose 6.6 percent, while operating profit hit $8.3 billion, an increase of 16.3 percent, compared with the $7.1 billion registered year-on-year.

Sam’s Club in the nine months recorded an 8.9 percent sales increase, to $23 billion, up from $21.1 billion in the same period a tear ago. Comp store sales for the period hit 3.4 percent, while Sam’s operating profit reached $733 million, an increase of 0.3 percent when compared with the $731 million notched in a similar period the previous year.

Consolidated Wal-Mart sales and earning for the third quarter broke company records, with sales totaling $58.8 billion for the three months, up 11.5 percent from the $52.7 billion reported year over year. Total company comp store sales were up 3.5 percent in the quarter, while net income was $1.8 billion, an increase of nearly 23 percent over the $1.5 billion reported in the same three months in 2001.

For the nine months, consolidated Wal-Mart sales jumped 12.9 percent, to $173.5 billion, up from $153.6 billion in the year-ago period. Total company comparable store sales increased 6.1 percent in the nine months, with net income soaring 22.9 percent, to a record $5.5 billion, compared with $4.5 billion year-on-year.