Wal-Mart Stores Inc should see improvement in sales at its U.S. discount stores in the fourth quarter as the company returns items to shelves and focuses anew on low prices, the company’s chief executive said.
“I expect to see positive sales results in this fourth quarter,” CEO Mike Duke said of the unit in comments at the world’s largest retailer’s annual meeting with analysts and investors in Rogers, Arkansas.
Internationally, Duke cited opportunities to expand, especially in emerging markets like China, Brazil and Mexico.
The immediate task for the international unit is to deliver “profitable growth” in key markets, he said.
The company sees opportunities to expand in several markets around the world, Doug McMillon, CEO of Wal-Mart’s international unit, said.
In September, Wal-Mart said it was in talks to buy South Africa’s Massmart , a $4 billion deal that would give it a big presence in Africa. Wal-Mart has also been looking for a way to get into Russia.
McMillon said the company can fill in its geographic portfolio in Latin America and also wants to get into new markets in Asia.
“There are other large, high growth markets that over time we hope to enter,” he said about Asia.
He also said the company needs to add scale in Japan and Argentina.
Wal-Mart also said it expects international capital spending of $3.5 billion to $4 billion in fiscal year 2011, which begins in February, and $4 billion to $4.5 billion the following year.
That will include adding 21 million square feet of space in 2011 and 23 million to 24 million square feet the following year, a company executive said. (Reuters)