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Walmart raised its full-year profit forecast on Thursday following strong sales growth in the United States fueled by gains in grocery and other household staples.
The giant US retailer, which has been seen as a winner in a period of consumer inflation pressure because of its ability to keep prices lower through economies of scale, pointed to gains in grocery market share in the United States with higher-income households.
Walmart now sees full-year adjusted profits of $6.10 to $$6.20 per share, up from the prior range of $5.90 to $6.05 following the results, which topped analyst estimates and shares in pre-market trading.
Profits were $1.7 billion, down 18.5 percent from the year-ago period. Revenues were $152.3 billion, up 7.6 percent.
In the Walmart US division, which accounts for more than two-thirds of sales, the company scored a lofty 7.4 percent gain in comparable store sales.
Results in the United States benefited from a moderation in supply chain and freight costs.
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Besides grocery, sales also rose in pharmacy due to increased prescription volume. Revenues also jumped in pet and personal care, due in part to inflation.
Offsetting these benefits were declines in general merchandize, with the company pointing to "softness" in discretionary areas such as home, electronics and apparel, according to a Walmart presentation.
Shares of Walmart rose 1.9 percent to $152.30 in pre-market trading.