Walmart’s third-quarter comparable sales top estimates, e-commerce jumps

The retailer has recorded more than 4 straight years of US growth

During the second quarter Walmart posted its highest sales growth in a decade. Photograph: Reuters/ Kevork Djansezian

During the second quarter Walmart posted its highest sales growth in a decade. Photograph: Reuters/ Kevork Djansezian

 

Retailer Walmart reported better-than-expected quarterly US comparable sales on Thursday and raised its full-year outlook as a strong economy boosted customer store visits and e-commerce purchases grew as it sold more groceries online.

The strong performance ahead of the key US holiday season sent the retailer’s stock up about 0.5 per cent to $102 per share in pre-market trade.

“Fresh [food] continues to do very well but there is strength across the board from a category standpoint,” chief financial officer Brett Biggs said. Grocery sales make up 56 per cent of Walmart’s revenue.

Walmart’s sales at US stores open at least a year rose 3.4 per cent in the third quarter, excluding fuel price fluctuations, higher than analysts’ estimates of a 2.87 per cent increase.

Walmart has recorded over four straight years of US growth, unmatched by any other retailer. During the second quarter it posted its highest sales growth in a decade.

Sales at its British subsidiary, Asda, increased as more than 100,000 new customers shopped at the supermarket. Comparable sales were up 2 per cent in the period, marking a sixth consecutive quarter of growth.