Wal-Mart Stores (Bentonville, Ark.), the world's largest retail chain, just got larger. Reported third quarter sales (for the period ending October 31) reached $45.7 billion, an increase of 13 percent over the same period in 1999. Nine-month totals soared, as well, to $134.8 billion, or 18.6 percent higher than a year ago. And net income for the quarter jumped 5.8 percent, to a record $1.37 billion.
Total company comparable sales for the quarter increased 4.9 percent (4.5 percent for the Wal-Mart stores and 6.6 percent increase for Sam's Clubs). The International segment had an operating profit of $241 million for the quarter, a 25.5 percent increase, compared to $192 million in the same period last year. Year to date, international operating profit was $622 million, a 69.5 percent increase, compared to $367 million in the nine months ending Oct. 31, 1999.
"We are pleased that in a difficult quarter we were able to achieve record sales and earnings," said Lee Scott, president and ceo. "We gained market share and generated good earnings growth in a challenging retail environment."