In the first quarter of its financial year 2019, Walmart managed to generate a profit that was a lot higher than expected. Not all is good, however: turnover went up only 1 %, despite a strong growth of online sales.
The chain's quarterly turnover went up to 123.9 billion dollars (110 billion euros), which comes down to a 1 % increase compared to the same period last year. Food, drinks and general goods did particularly well.
Turnover from online sales increased by as much as 37 %. The company is locked in a fierce competition war with Amazon and has already invested a lot in digitisation and the construction of pick-up points. This week, Walmart announced that it would be introducing a free next-day delivery service for a whole range of products, a response to a similar service for Prime members announced by Amazon.
The chain's positive results on the home market are partly offset by decreasing international sales: turnover from activities abroad dropped by 4.9 % due to currency effects, ending at 28.8 billion dollars (26 billion euros).
The world's largest supermarket concern generated a net profit of 3.8 billion dollars (3.4 billion euros), well above analysts' expectations of 2.9 billion dollars (2.6 billion euros). The future is not looking too bright however: Walmart fears that the import levies against China may lead to higher prices for American consumers in the future.