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Walmart profits boosted by e-commerce, US stimulus payments

Walmart reported Tuesday a jump in second-quarter profits due to surging e-commerce sales during the coronavirus pandemic and US stimulus payments that propelled consumer spending.

Net income was US$6.5 billion, up nearly 80 percent from the year-ago period, boosted also by a large gain based on its investment in Chinese company JD.com. 

Revenues rose 5.6 percent to US$137.7 billion and included a lift from a 97 percent increase in Walmart US e-commerce sales.

The Walmart Supercenter in Albany, New York

The world’s biggest retailer cited robust demand for groceries and heavy use of e-commerce from home-bound consumers. Sales were strong for electronics, outdoor living items and other goods with higher profit margins, the company said.

Walmart acquired Asda in the UK market back in 1999, and in recent years it has grown to become Britain’s second largest supermarket, between Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Walmart did not provide full-year profit targets. The prospects for additional US stimulus remain cloudy due to partisan division in Washington

The company reported higher sales at Walmart US, the company’s biggest unit by far, with consumers consolidating shopping trips during the pandemic.

In the US, Walmart saw a drop of 14 percent in transactions, but the average shopping ticket jumped 27 percent.

Walmart reported a drop in sales in its international division, due in part to government-mandated closures in India, Africa and Central America.

Shares rose 3.2 percent to US$139.90 in pre-market trading.

(AFP)

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