Wal-Mart profits up 3% to $3.4 billion

Wal-Mart profits up 3% to $3.4 billion

New York: US retail giant Wal-Mart’s net profit rose 3% to $3.4 billion in its first quarter, exceeding expectations, the company reported on Tuesday.

“Walmart is reporting first quarter earnings from continuing operations of $0.98 per share, which was above guidance," said Wal-Mart president and CEO Mike Duke.

“This reflects the stability and strength of our global operations," he said in a statement announcing the results for the three months ending 30 April.

The company reported net first quarter sales of $103.4 billion, an increase of 4.4% from $99.1 billion in the first quarter last year.

The company said Walmart International grew first quarter net sales by 11.5% over last year to almost $28 billion, with all countries except earthquake and tsunami-hit Japan showing sales increases.

“International remains the key growth driver for our company, and the segment is seeing continued growth through a combination of comp sales and new stores," Duke said.

“Mexico, China and Chile had the highest percentage sales increases for the first quarter compared to last year."