Walmart

Walmart Inc. has reported total revenue of $128.0 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2019. That’s an increase of $4.7 billion, or 3.8 per cent.  Excluding currency, total revenue was $127.8 billion, an increase of $4.4 billion, or 3.6 per cent.

Net sales at Walmart International were $29.5 billion, an increase of 4.0%.  Excluding currency, net sales were $29.2 billion, an increase of 3.1%.  Same-store sales were positive in the four largest markets: Mexico, the U.K., Canada and China.

Same-store sales in Canada were up 2.6 per cent over the same period last year (net sales were up 2.8 per cent) while traffic increased 1.5 per cent.

Walmart Canada gained 60 basis points of market share in food, consumables, and health and wellness for the 12-week period ended July 28th, according to Nielsen. The gross profit rate declined due to a higher mix of grocery and growth in e-commerce shipping. Online grocery pickup was added in 21 Canadian stores; it is now available in 105 locations across the country.

Walmart US same-store sales increased 4.5 per cent, the strongest growth in more than ten years, led by the performance of grocery, apparel and seasonal.  Grocery pickup is now available in more than 1,800 US store locations, and the company says it’s on track to reach about 40 per cent of the US population by year’s end with grocery delivery.

Walmart has been facing higher transportation costs with rising fuel prices added to a truck driver shortage south of the border. The ongoing tariff campaign of the Trump administration has also generated uncertainty over the possibility Walmart might pass on resulting price increases to consumers.

"While we know questions persist about tariffs, the potential future impact is difficult to quantify," said Walmart CFO Brett Biggs. "We are closely monitoring the tariff discussions and are actively working on mitigation strategies, particularly in light of potentially escalating duties."

Walmart has also been working to beef up its online platform to compete with Amazon. It has revamped its web site, partnered with Lord & Taylor to add new merchandise to Walmart.com, and purchased Flipkart, the biggest e-commerce provider in India. According to a CNBC report, this activity has eaten into profit margins, which in turn has impacted the company’s share value.

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