But like-for-likes miss target
Wal-Mart sales rose 8.1 per cent to US$26.8 billion (£13.9 billion) for the four weeks to March 2, but like-like-sales missed targets rising 0.9 per cent against the 1 per cent to 2 per cent forecast.

The retailer said in a statement: 'For the February period, above-average categories in the Wal-Mart segment included electronics, hardware, seasonal, paper goods, household chemicals, food and pharmacy. Sales in home and apparel continue to be soft, as expected. The softness in home and apparel is expected to continue through spring. Hard lines were impacted by unfavourable.'

International sales soared 18.7 per cent to US$6.1 billion (£3.16 billion) for the period, but included 4.1 per cent from the consolidation of Wal-Mart Central America. International strengths included Argentina, Brazil, China and the UK.

The estimate for comparable store sales in the US for the March five week period is 1 per cent to 2 per cent.