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Momentum drives Walmart sales up again

US retailer Walmart has reported a 4.7 per cent increase in operating income in the third quarter to US$4.98 billion, and a 3.4 per cent increase in year-on-year comparable sales.

Walmart sales for the period reached US$124.9 billion, an increase of 1.4 per cent.

“We have momentum in the business as we execute our plan and benefit from a favourable economic environment in the US,” Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement.

“We’re accelerating innovation and using technology to shape the future of retail [and] making shopping at Walmart faster and easier.”

The retailer saw a 43 per cent increase in online sales in the quarter, largely thanks to its investment in its e-commerce business, as well as key acquisitions, according to GlobalData Retail’s MD Neil Saunders.

“Making online work for customers has been a priority for Walmart, but the company is also conscious that online needs to deliver in terms of profitability,” Saunders said.

“On this front, we are impressed with the experimentation on automation and the testing of various last mile solutions for grocery. We believe that Walmart has the skill, financial muscle, and the physical infrastructure to drive profitable online growth in a way that many other retailers, especially grocery players, will struggle to achieve.”

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