US retail giant Walmart has reported “strong” revenue growth in its fourth quarter as consumers shopped both in-store and online and ecommerce sales surpassed $1bn (£790m).


Walmart’s global ecommerce sales jumped 23%

Walmart posted a 5.7% increase in revenue during its fourth quarter to reach a total of $173.4bn (£137.3bn), which it attributed to its ominchannel model continuing to “resonate” with consumers.

Operating income for the period was also up 30.4% at $7.3bn (£5.78bn), while the retailer’s ecommerce sales jumped 23% globally and surpassed $1bn (£790m) for the first time.

With an eye to Walmart’s full-year performance, revenue was up 6% at $648.1bn (£513.1bn).

US consumers continued to favour its grocery and general merchandise offering and the retailer noted market share gains came “primarily” from higher-income households. The retailer also hailed its improved pick-up and delivery services for its boom in ecommerce sales.

Despite this, Walmart said its general merchandise sales “declined modestly”. President and chief executive  Doug McMillon told analysts that while the category in its US operations was “there” in terms of a “deflationary position”, during the quarter “the slope of the decline softened.”

In terms of outlook, Walmart said it expects sales to grow between 3% and 4% for the next full year and that it also anticipates operating income of between 4% and 6%.

Walmart also announced the acquisition of television maker Vizio in a $2.3bn (£1.82bn) deal in a bid to “further accelerate Walmart Connect in the US”.

McMillon said: “Our team delivered a great quarter, finishing off a strong year. We crossed $100bn in ecommerce sales and drove share gains as our customer experience metrics improved, even during our highest volume days leading up to the holidays.

“We’re proud of the team and excited about building on our momentum as we work to bring prices down for our customers and members.”