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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 19:44 GMT
Wal-Mart helped by overseas sales
Man with shopping trolleys outside a Wal-Mart store
Wal-Mart is the world's largest retailer
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has seen its profits rise 11.5% after a weak US performance was offset by strong sales growth overseas.

During the three months to the end of October, the US giant's overall net profit rose to $2.7bn (1.4bn) from $2.4bn for the same period last year.

While Wal-Mart's overseas sales surged 34% during its third quarter, those in its US home market rose by just 8%.

Wal-Mart, which owns Asda in the UK, saw overall sales rise 12% to $84bn.

'Softer than hoped'

The results were ahead of Wall Street expectations, prompting a 2.8% rise in the firm's shares.

Operates in 15 countries
Around 6,400 stores worldwide
4,000 stores in the US
176 million customers a week worldwide
Employs 1.8 million people worldwide
Sales of $312.4bn for the year to 31 January 2006

"We are pleased that Wal-Mart again had record sales and earnings for the third quarter," said Wal-Mart chief executive Lee Scott.

"Although sales in the US were softer than we hoped for in the third quarter, there are real opportunities in the fourth quarter to build on the momentum of the aggressive pricing strategy we have implemented in our stores for the holiday season."

Wal-Mart's overseas sales were boosted by new store openings.

In the US, the slowing economy and high petrol prices were blamed for the slowdown.

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