Top December for Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart reported a 3 per cent rise in US comp sales in its most important month of December, which was at the top end of expectations.

Net sales for the five-week period, ending 31 December, were at $38.42 billion, up 13.4 per cent from the previous year.

International sales increased by 21.3 per cent to $7.9 billion.

The retail giant put the increase down to a surge in post-Christmas shopping after a slow beginning to the festive season, which forced the company to quickly launch a newspaper and television advertising blitz announcing sharp reductions.

Customer traffic drove sales in the last week, the retailer said.

Wal-Mart expects comp sales in January to increase by between 2-4 per cent.

Bentonville (AR)