Wal-Mart Sales Top $100 Billion in Q4

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Wal-Mart Sales Top $100 Billion in Q4

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today said discount groceries play a role in an 8.3 percent jump in sales for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, 2008, and also noted that this was the first time in history a retail company topped $100 billion in sales during a single quarter.

President and c.e.o. Lee Scott attributed Wal-Mart's success to "price leadership and improved customer service, especially at the Wal-Mart Stores U.S. division." In pre-recorded comments, he cited cleaner stores, fewer out-of-stocks, and faster checkout lanes.

Scott also noted that Wal-Mart benefited from a strong holiday business after moving early last fall to discount groceries, toys, and home electronics. Health and wellness items also sold well, he said.

Total net sales for the fourth quarter were $106.269 billion, while income from continuing operations was $4.096 billion, an increase of 4.0 percent from the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2007.

Sales at Wal-Mart's U.S. namesake stores were $67.4 billion -- a 5 percent jump from the prior year. Sam's Club sales reached $11.831 billion -- a 6.3 percent increase.

Comparable store sales at Wal-Mart's U.S. formats were 1.6 percent with and without fuel, while comps at Sam's Club were 2.5 percent without fuel and 5 percent with fuel.

"We know that the economy remains a critical factor in this new fiscal year," Scott noted. "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."

Wal-Mart also reported on its fiscal year performance. Net sales for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2008 were $374.526 billion, an increase of 8.6 percent over fiscal year 2007. Income from continuing operations increased 5.8 percent to $12.884 billion, up from $12.178 billion in the prior year.