Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has issued its 2011 Annual Report, Proxy Statement and Global Responsibility Report, providing expanded, interactive versions of the documents in a comprehensive package of materials relating to the mega-retailer’s achievements last year, priorities for this year, and progress toward its goals.
“Walmart delivered solid financial performance for fiscal year 2011,” wrote Mike Duke, the company’s president and CEO, in a letter to shareholders, noting net sales of more than $419 billion for the year, and a record $19.2 billion returned to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
“These results demonstrate the strength of our underlying business and our dedication to delivering shareholder value,” Duke observed in the letter. “I’m optimistic that Walmart will improve where we need to and continue to build momentum where we’re already succeeding. Our talented leadership team is fully aligned on executing plans to support our financial priorities of growth, leverage and returns.”
Duke also discussed Walmart’s business segments, for which the company is putting in place aggressive growth plans. “My top priority this year is to achieve positive comparable-store sales,” he said. “At the same time, there’s a tremendous opportunity to grow in the United States through supercenters and new formats, such as Walmart Express, in urban and rural markets.” He spoke approvingly of Walmart International as a “growth engine,” and noted that Sam’s Club’s No. 1 goal for the year was “attracting new members through improved member experiences.”
Of the Global Responsibility Report, Duke said: “We believe transparency and accountability are part of being a good and responsible company, and that they also make us a better company.” The report enables Walmart to bolster “our commitment to transparency and [hold] ourselves accountable for what we do within our company and for our communities.”
This year’s report features the company’s fourth update on sustainability, as well as new social and environmental dimensions, with data and metrics to track progress.
Both reports are available in interactive editions, with the annual report incorporating video messages company leaders such as Rob Walton, Duke, Charles Holley, Leslie Dach, Bill Simon, McMillon and Brian Cornell. The reports are posted at www.walmartstores.com.
The company also began distributing its proxy statement containing details on its annual shareholders’ meeting set for Friday, June 3 at the Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, Ark.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates 60 banners in 15 countries and employs more than 2 million associates worldwide.