Driving aggressive growth and increasing leverage globally

Walmart International continues aggressive growth, adding sales in both emerging and mature markets. Net sales for fiscal 2011 grew 12 percent to $109 billion. Operating income increased to more than $5.6 billion, supported by more than 4,500 locations and almost 287 million square feet of selling space.

Locally relevant.

  Our growth comes from a combination of comparable sales and new stores. We’re opening supercentres in new regions of Canada and changing the competitive environment in Brazil with a shift to EDLP. Our expectations for growth this year include 23 to 24 million new square feet in current markets, including significant investments in soft discount formats and supercenters in emerging markets. The diversity of our formats allows entry into urban and rural areas and ensures we’re relevant to the local community. In every market, our customers trust us to lead on price with our EDLP promise. Japan’s transition to EDLP and operational efficiencies contributed to increased profits for each of the past three years. In the United Kingdom, ASDA has gone even further, providing customers with the ability to check their basket price against competitors with a few simple clicks online through the ASDA price guarantee.

Opportunity for leverage.

  Leveraging the local and global footprint and the scale of Walmart saves our customers money so they can live better. Global sourcing efforts drive merchandise quality and uniqueness. Operational cost efficiencies and various systems, processes and technologies allow us to lower the prices in our markets. The ability to choose between local and global sourcing provides us with a significant competitive advantage in our markets.

A balanced approach.

  We will continue to balance our commitment to aggressive growth with our long-term plan to improve returns. Looking ahead, solid returns come from operational discipline, adherence to the productivity loop and effective capital allocation.