Wal-Mart today (16 August) recorded a 5.7% jump in second-quarter net income and lifted its full-year earnings outlook.

Net income rose to US$4bn over the three months ended 31 July as net sales climbed 4.5% to reach US$113.5bn.

The world's largest retailer said US comparable-store sales rose 2.2%, its fourth consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales. Wal-Mart US sales increased 3.8% to $67.3bn, while its international division saw growth of 6.4% to $32bn.

It raised and narrowed its full-year earnings expectations to $4.83-4.93 per share, from a previous range of $4.72-4.92.

"I'm really pleased with the continued momentum in our Walmart US stores, evidenced, in part, by three consecutive quarters of positive comp traffic and four straight quarters of positive comp sales," said president and CEO Mike Duke.

"The team is very focused on delivering broad assortment and price leadership. Walmart's low prices drive greater customer loyalty."

Speaking about the economic challenges facing its consumers, Duke said: "The paycheck cycle remains pronounced in the United States and in our international markets.

"Given continuing economic pressures, we believe that our price leadership and value are growing in importance to customers across income levels."