Improved Productivity Boosts Wal-Mart Results

Wal-Mart Stores here said yesterday increased productivity and improved inventory management resulted in a better customer experience and contributed to improved financial results for the third quarter, which ended Oct. 31.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here said yesterday increased productivity and improved inventory management resulted in a better customer experience and contributed to improved financial results for the third quarter, which ended Oct. 31.

Mike Duke, president and chief executive officer, said Wal-Mart is optimistic going into the holidays.

“While the economy remains challenging for our customers and therefore to Wal-Mart sales, I continue to be encouraged by both our traffic and market-share gains across the operating segments,” he said in a conference call with analysts. “The stores are running better than at any time in our history, and customer satisfactions are at record highs.”

Net income for the 13-week quarter rose 1% to $3.2 billion, while sales increased 1.1% to $98.7 billion and comparable store sales for U.S. operations, excluding fuel, fell 0.4%. For the 39-week period net income was up 1% to $9.7 billion, while sales fell 0.3% to $292.1 billion and comps in the U.S., excluding fuel, rose 0.6%.

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