BENTONVILLE, Ark.–Net income for Walmart rose 9 percent to $3.4 billion in the third quarter ending Oct. 31.
The world’s largest retailer was able to accomplish this even though net sales gained just 2.6 percent, to $101.2 billion. Mike Duke, president and chief executive officer, said the company has now delivered four consecutive quarters of “operating expense leverage” to continually improve the bottom line. Operating, selling, general and administrative expenses rose 2.1 percent on a dollar basis, and declined 10 basis points as a percentage of net sales to 20.2 percent. Gross margin was relatively flat at 25 percent.
Much of Walmart’s sales increase came from its international locations, whose sales rose 9.3 percent in the third quarter. Duke also said Sam’s Club delivered a solid quarter, and that the company as a whole should have a healthy holiday season. Sales at Walmart’s U.S. locations slipped by 0.1 percent.