Duke: Walmart "Strong and Getting Stronger"
ROGERS, Ark.-Walmart has "momentum in our business that's producing top-line and bottom-line results," Mike Duke, the retailer's president and CEO, told financial analysts at Walmart's 19th Annual Meeting for the Investment Community today.
"Walmart is strong and getting stronger," Duke said to the analysts. "We're delivering on the productivity loop and being even more disciplined about operating expenses and capital spending. We're making investments that are creating a better business. I believe that the combination of momentum, investment and discipline will continue to deliver growth, leverage and returns for our shareholders."
Highlighting the key points in Walmart's "momentum," Duke said Walmart's U.S. business is making progress in a number of areas that are driving same-store sales growth. He added that Walmart International's growth is "strong, and we are winning customers and gaining share in almost every country in which we operate." Sam's Club's growth has also been strong, he said, and is "testing new ways to engage existing and prospective members and to increase membership renewals and revenue."
In terms of expenses, Duke told the analysts that Walmart has leveraged expenses for 11 quarters while achieving savings, lower prices and more sales across the business. "We are driving efficiencies in new stores and remodels by reducing construction costs while keeping our square-footage growth where we want it to be," he said.
Duke added that Walmart continues to invest in a disciplined way to build its business and position the company for further success. He cited Walmart's global e-commerce sector, in particular its stake in the Chinese web retailer Yihaodian. Regarding e-commerce, "I believe we ware playing to win in a very real way now, driving innovation, working together across the entire business and investing in our vision," Duke said.