BENTONVILLE, Ark.-Although its U.S. same-store sales slipped 0.3 percent, Walmart posted a 2.8 percent gain in third-quarter net income, to $3.7 billion.
The retail giant’s net sales rose 1.6 percent to $114.9 billion in the quarter, which ended on Oct. 31. Its U.S. sales as a whole were up 2.4 percent, with gains in market share coming from food, consumables and the combined health, wellness and over-the-counter business. However, domestic same-store sales suffered as traffic declined 0.4 percent.
Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., noted that this segment’s operating income was up 5.8 percent over last year’s third quarter. The U.S. stores “continued to deliver strong bottom-line results in a difficult sales environment,” Simon said.
Sam’s Club delivered 1.1 percent increases in both total sales and same-club sales (factoring out gasoline sales) in the quarter. Rosalind Brewer, Sam’s Club’s president and CEO, said the positive same-store sales results and “steady increase in traffic” helped this segment to a 9.2 percent jump in its operating income.
Sales at Walmart International edged up 0.2 percent, affected by the challenging global economy and negative currency exchange-rate fluctuations, according to Doug McMillon, International’s president and CEO.
Gross margin for the company as a whole rose 13 basis points to 24.5 percent. Operating, selling, general and administrative expenses were up 2 percent in dollars and seven basis points as a percentage of sales, to 19.6 percent.
Looking ahead, Mike Duke, Walmart’s president and CEO, said, “Our most important priority is growing top-line sales, including comp sales. The retail environment, both in stores and online, remains competitive. Walmart has aggressive plans to help our customers enjoy the holiday season, and there is no doubt that we plan to win for our customers and shareholders throughout the holidays.”