US retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc continues to benefit from shoppers flocking to its stores in search of bargains, and has posted a 2.3% rise in October sales.

In the four weeks to 31 October, total company sales were up to $$28.57bn from $27.92bn a year earlier, helped by a 5.3% rise at its Wal-Mart US stores, and a 4.5% increase at its Sam's Club unit.

Foreign exchange rate fluctuations dragged its international sales down 5.9 %; but on a constant currency basis international sales soared 8.9% the retailer said.

Total US same-store sales were up 2.4%.

At Walmart US, where total sales rose to $18.36bn from $17.44bn, and same-store sales were up 2.2%, customer traffic was helped by seasonal Halloween merchandise.

"Highly competitive pricing, especially on basics throughout the store, is driving these results," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart US president and chief executive officer.
At Sam's Club, sales rose to $3.44bn from $3.30bn in October, and same-store sales were up 3.6%.

Wal-Mart International sales were hit by the strengthening US dollar, but strong clothing sales helped boost its Asda stores in the UK.

Sales were up at its units in Brazil, Canada, China, the company said, but fell in Japan and Mexico.

In its outlook, Wal-Mart said it expects US same-store sales to rise between 1% and 3% in November.