BENTONVILLE, Ark.-With U.S. sales recording its strongest quarter in some time, Walmart posted a 9.2 percent gain in net income to $3.7 billion in its fiscal first quarter ending on April 30.
Net sales at domestic Walmart stores rose 5.9 percent to $66.3 billion, including a same-store sales gain of 2.6 percent. Mike Duke, Walmart’s president and CEO, said, “In a highly competitive retail environment, Walmart U.S. is increasing price separation across categories and driving increased traffic to both the grocery and general-merchandise areas of our stores.” Overall, Walmart posted a net sales increase of 8.6 percent to $112.3 billion.
Powerful sales results also came in from Walmart International and Sam’s Club. Sales at the international segment jumped 15 percent to $32.1 billion, while Sam’s Club turned in a total sales gain of 7.9 percent to $13.9 billion. Sam’s Club’s same-club sales rose 3 percent without gasoline sales in the quarter.
Walmart’s selling, general and administrative expenses increased 6.6 percent on a dollar basis, but declined 35 basis points as a percentage of sales to 19.1 percent. Gross margin fell 27 basis points to 24.1 percent.
Looking ahead, Charles Holley, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said Walmart is “committed to continued sales momentum. Expense leverage will continue to be a key focus as it drives both growth and returns.”