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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 16:35 GMT
Wal-Mart profits up on price cuts
Shoppers in US Wal-Mart store
The firm cut prices over the holiday season to attract consumers
US retailer Wal-Mart saw profits rise 9.8% in the three months to 31 January, after the firm cut prices to attract customers over the holiday season.

Beating market expectations, Wal-Mart's net profit for its fiscal fourth quarter totalled $3.94bn (2bn), up from $3.6bn a year earlier.

Wal-Mart's overall quarterly sales added 10.9% to $98bn.

However, sales at Wal-Mart's US stores open at least a year rose by just 1.6% during the fourth quarter.

Wal-Mart had seen mixed sales previously after refitting stores, changing its range and leaving Germany.

'Saving money'

Don Gher, an investment officer with Coldstream Capital, said Wal-Mart was "moving back to basics by concentrating on discount pricing with less emphasis on high priced merchandise".

The firm's chief executive, Lee Scott, said the results had been boosted by discounts on key items, while the firm had also focused on tailoring each store to local needs.

Mr Scott said this strategy had helped the firm's results and reaffirmed the firm's proposition that was "synonymous with Wal-Mart, saving people money so they can live better".

While overall sales for the quarter were 7% up for Wal-Mart US, including a 4% rise at the firm's Sam's Club division, this was dwarfed by a 30% rise for the international business, which climbed 30% after purchases in Brazil and Central America.

The latest news comes as Wal-Mart is to expand in India in a tie-up with Bharti Enterprises.

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