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Wal-Mart bolstered by online sales surge

The e-commerce arm saw a 63% rise in sales as it battled to counter the threat of Amazon and others
picture of Walmart store
Onlines sales are soaring

Booming online sales lifted Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s (NYSE:WMT) first quarter and with an upbeat forecast for the remainder the year sent the shares almost 3% higher.

The e-commerce arm saw a 63% rise in sales, driven by demand at Walmart.com as the retail giant has invested heavily to counter the rapid growth of Amazon and others.

“We're moving faster to combine our digital and physical assets to make shopping simple and easy for customers,” said chief executive Doug McMillon.

Sales overall at the retail giant overall were 1.4% ahead at US$117.5bn, slightly below estimates beforehand and driven by a 1.5% increase in traffic.

Earnings per share were US$1, up 2%. And the retailer forecast a range of US$1 –US$1.08 for the next three months.

The international arm, which includes Asda in the UK, was the weakest division and saw revenues fall by 3.5% to US$27.1bn.

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