As it continues to keep an eye on potential impact of the coronavirus, Walmart reported Tuesday that sales took a hit from other international challenges such as unrest in Chile, as well as a shortened holiday season.
The nation’s biggest retailer said sales at stores open a year rose 1.9% in the quarter that ended Jan. 31, buoyed by strong growth in Walmart’s grocery services, and net sales internationally increased 2.3%.
But sales in the U.S. were weaker than expected. And events overseas, including uncertainty about the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, also took a toll. Unrest in Chile affected the retailer’s international business, impacting operating income by roughly $110 million.
“The holiday season delivered positive transaction growth,” Brett Biggs, Walmart’s Chief Financial Officer said in a statement. “However, it wasn’t as good as expected due to lower sales volumes and some pressure related to associate scheduling. We understand the factors that affected our results and are developing plans to address them.”
Pier 1 files for Chapter 11 protection:Pier 1 Imports bankruptcy: Chain files for Chapter 11 as it continues closure of up to 450 stores
Pier 1 stores:Pier 1 store closings: These locations are slated to shutter. Is yours on the list?
In the U.S., online sales increased 35% in the last quarter.
Walmart says that it’s not currently factoring the coronavirus into its forecast for the new year. But the outbreak is impacting a variety of businesses, from McDonald’s, which has shuttered hundreds of locations in China, to Apple which says a slowdown in production will likely lead to iPhone shortages.
“The company continues to monitor the events in Chile and the coronavirus outbreak,” Walmart said in its earnings announcement.
Walmart’s stock was down 1.09% to $116.60 a share in pre-market trading.