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Wal-Mart quarterly profit soars, beats expectations

On Tuesday 16 November 2010, 14:32 EST

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, said on Tuesday its net quarterly profit climbed 9.8 percent to 3.4 billion dollars, beating expectations, as it expands international operations.

Net sales for the third quarter of 2011 reached 101.2 billion dollars, an increase of 2.6 percent from 98.7 billion dollars in the same quarter last year, it said in a statement.

Profits rose 9.8 percent from 3.2 billion dollars a year ago to 3.4 billion dollars, or 95 cents per share, more than the 90 cents per share predicted by most analysts.

"Wal-Mart performed well in the third quarter, and we delivered solid earnings per share growth for our shareholders," said chief executive officer Mike Duke.

"Our company now has delivered four consecutive quarters of operating expense leverage, and we continue to grow operating income faster than sales."

The retailer's expanding overseas operations helped boost its performance, as international net sales grew more than 9 percent this quarter compared to last year.

Wal-Mart added almost 10 million square feet (920 square meters) of retail space this quarter, with 37 percent of the growth in Wal-Mart International.

"Our international business continues to deliver impressive results, with sales up more than nine percent," Duke said.

"Our Wal-Mart US business is on the right track, with third quarter comp sales within guidance and operating income growing faster than sales.

"Wal-Mart US will be the price leader this holiday season, and I am confident about improving comp trends for the fourth quarter," Duke added.