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Wal-Mart's sales down, profit up

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Wal-Mart's sales down, profit up

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The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart has announced sales fell at its stores in the United States for the fifth straight quarter.

It was however able to post a higher-than-expected quarterly profit – the equivalent of 2.8 billion euros – and raised its full-year forecast.

That was due to cost cuts and improved sales at its shops outside the US.

A like-for-like comparison with Wal-Mart stores that were open one year ago showed sales in the company’s key US market fell 1.8 percent and it said that decline is likely to continue in the third quarter.

Wal-Mart plans to further focus on cutting expenses to help boost earnings this year.

But retail industry analysts questioned how much longer it can count on cost cuts to do that particularly as US consumers continue to be wary of spending.