Walmart reported a jump in quarterly revenues Tuesday partly driven by inflation as the retail giant signaled it expects its US sales growth to moderate over the next six months.
The big-box retailer, which had cut its profit forecast three weeks ago due to shifting consumer behavior, said pricing pressures on consumers boosted sales of groceries, while denting demand for other items such as apparel, electronics and home products.
Revenues for its second fiscal quarter ending July 31 were $152.9 billion, up 8.4 percent from the year-ago period.
Profits rose 20.4 percent to $5.1 billion, with some of the increase connected to the accounting for an asset sale in Brazil.
Walmart’s US comparable store sales rose 6.5 percent from one year ago, but the company expects about three percent growth in the second half of 2022.
Higher gasoline prices, along with elevated prices for grocery-item staples have been prompting more consumers to “trade down” to lower-priced goods.
On the positive side, gas prices have gradually fallen during the summer, mitigating this effect somewhat.
“We’re pleased to see more customers choosing Walmart during this inflationary period, and we’re working hard to support them as they prioritize their spending,” Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon said in a news release.
McMillon said the company made “good progress” to manage supply chain costs “and that work is ongoing.”
Shares of Walmart rose 3.7 percent to $137.48 in Tuesday pre-market trading.