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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2007, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Wal-Mart profit 'could be better'
Wal-Mart store in New Jersey, United States

Wal-Mart's chief executive Lee Scott has said he is not satisfied with the retail giant's performance despite seeing first-quarter profits rise 8.1%.

"We feel there was an opportunity to have done better," he said.

But profits were not hit as hard by the economic slowdown as had been feared, with net profit between February and April coming in at $2.83bn (1.43bn).

US same-store sales rose 0.6% over the three-month period compared with growth of 3.9% in the same quarter last year.

Wal-Mart attributed the slow sales growth to its programme of store refits, which has disrupted shoppers.

There have also been errors such as overexpanding its Metro 7 line of fashion apparel.

The world's biggest retailer has been stressing its discounting, despite having spent much of the previous year trying to attract more upmarket customers.

Mr Scott said he would be "more committed than ever" to price leadership.

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