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Industry NewsWalmart posts strong fourth quarter, Canada comp sales up 1.8%

Walmart posts strong fourth quarter, Canada comp sales up 1.8%

Walmart reported a solid fourth quarter with total revenues up 4.9 percent, $172.1 billion, with comp sales up 4.0 per cent, led by grocery and health and wellness growth. Walmart Canada’s net sales were up 1.8 per cent to $6 billion, with comp sales up 1.5 per cent. Food and consumables growth outpaced general merchandise growth.

Global e-commerce sales jumped 23 per cent year over year, topping $100 billion in total for the first time. In Canada, e-commerce rose 11 per cent.

Walmart said inflation is still an issue in some categories, with shoppers spending less per trip to the chain’s stores for the first time in over two years, a sign that prices are cooling in some categories along with inflation.

“Across countries, we continue to see a customer that’s resilient but looking for value,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in an earnings call.

Walmart stated it agreed to purchase TV maker Vizio for US$2.3 billion, a deal it hopes will boost its growing advertising business. Walmart’s global ad business grew to $3.4 billion in revenue for the full year.

“There is a lot to be excited about with this acquisition,” said Seth Dallaire, executive vice president and chief revenue officer at Walmart U.S. “We believe VIZIO’s customer-centric operating system provides great viewing experiences at attractive price points. We also believe it enables a profitable advertising business that is rapidly scaling. Our media business, Walmart Connect, is helping brands create meaningful connections with the millions of customers who shop with us each week. We believe the combination of these two businesses would be impactful as we redefine the intersection of retail and entertainment.”

According to business reports, the acquisition illustrates how Walmart is expanding its business beyond selling items in stores and online. Walmart executives say revenue from advertising and memberships is expected to account for a larger share of profits this year.

Walmart’s newer revenue streams are more profitable than its grocery business. The company plans to use cash generated from these operations to expand services such as fast online delivery, which isn’t profitable, to attract shoppers and compete with retailers like Amazon.

Read the full earnings report.

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