The world's biggest retailer, Wal -Mart Stores Inc, on Tuesday posted a 3.6 per cent rise in second quarter profit to $ 3.59 billion, driven by strong sales growth in international operations and cost-cutting measures.
The retail chain giant had raked in a profit of $ 3.47 billion in the same quarter last year, the group said in a statement.
Net sales for the second quarter stood at $ 103.01 billion, an increase of 2.8 per cent from $ 100.16 billion in the year-ago period. Net sales for the second quarter factored in a currency exchange rate benefit of $ 857 million.
"We continue to focus on our priorities of growth, leverage and returns. Despite the ongoing challenges of the global economy, we continue to grow our earnings and are reporting $ 0.97 per share today," Wal-Mart Stores president and chief executive officer Mike Duke said.
Wal-Mart has raised its earnings guidance for the full year to an earnings per share (EPS) range of $ 3.95-4.05 from the previous range of $ 3.9-4.
"We are raising our full year guidance to a range of $ 3.95-4.05. Our teams leveraged operating expenses for the third consecutive quarter through their commitment to the productivity loop," Duke added.
The group's international business continues to drive its growth, as net sales of the segment rose 11 per cent to $ 26 billion, with strong contributions from Mexico, Brazil and China, the statement said.
"Our international business continues to be an impressive growth engine and Wal-Mart International grew operating income faster than sales," Duke said.
During the quarter, the company added almost 5 million square feet of retail space in the 15 countries where it operates. Wal-Mart now has 8,576 units worldwide.