Walmart Company-Wide Q4 Sales Up, But U.S. Stores Sales Decline

 

Total company fourth quarter sales at Walmart, Inc., rose nearly 5% for the fourth-quarter but sales at the retailer’s U.S. stores were down slightly for the period ended January 31.

Net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010 were $112.8 billion, an increase of 4.6% from $107.9 billion in the fourth quarter last year. On a segment by segment basis, sales at Walmart U.S. stores were $70.9 billion, down -0.5%; Sam’s Club sales were $12.3 billion, up 3.8%; and International sales were $29.6 billion, up 19.5%. Income from continuing operations attributable to Walmart for the quarter was $4.7 billion was up almost 24% from $3.8 billion in the fourth quarter last year.

“Walmart’s exceptional earnings for the fourth quarter and the full year exceeded our expectations,” said Mike Duke, Walmart Stores, Inc. president and chief executive officer.  “These results reflect the ongoing underlying strength of our business and our strategies to improve shareholder value through our priorities – delivering growth, leveraging expenses and improving returns.”

He added, “We successfully shifted the productivity loop into higher gear. The diligent way we managed our businesses and tight control of our costs resulted in the company leveraging operating expenses for the fourth quarter. We plan to grow expenses slower than the rate of sales in the new fiscal year.”

Duke said he expects first-quarter sales to be “more challenging” as Walmart U.S. cycles through strong year-over-year comparisons and deflation. “We remain focused on growing top line sales, and expect improvement in the United States as the year progresses,” he said.

For the total fiscal year, company wide sales were $405.0 billion, up 1.0% from sales of $401.1 billion the previous year. Segment by segment sales for Walmart U.S. were up 1.1%; Sam’s Club sales, down -0.4%; and International sales. up 1.3%.

Fourth-quarter Walmart U.S. comparable store sales were down -2.0% without fuel, while Sam’s Club sales were up 0.7% without fuel. For the full fiscal year, Walmart comparable store sales were down -0.2% without fuel, with Sam’s Club comparable sales up 1.4% without fuel.