US: Wal-Mart to focus on price as Q3 earnings rise
- Q3 income up 8.7% to US$3.6bn
- Sales rose 3.4% to US$113.9bn
- Same store US sales rose 1.5%
US retailer Wal-Mart has said that it will continue to focus on delivering low prices to drive higher volumes in the remainder of the year, after booking third-quarter sales and earnings gains.
In its third-quarter update, Wal-Mart said income from continuing operations for the quarter was US$3.6bn, up 8.7%. Earnings per share totalled $1.08, up from $0.97 for the comparable period of last year.
Wal-Mart said sales rose 3.4% in the three months, climbing to US$113.9bn. Same store US sales rose 1.5% as the company drove higher volumes through a focus on low prices. International sales were up 2.6%.
Wal-Mart said it had leveraged operating expenses in the three months, which enabled it to reduce costs, improve productivity and invest in price.
CEO Mike Duke indicated that the company would remain highly price-focused, with price a major factor for US customers over the holidays.
"Our strong price position and broad assortment are clear competitive advantages," he said.
"Across all of our markets, we are seeing the same price consciousness as we do in the United States. More customers are part of a growing global middle class, looking for quality, value and a better life, and our EDLP model matters to these customers."
For fiscal 2013, the company tightened and reaffirmed the top end of its earnings per share guidance to a range of $4.88 to $4.93.
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