Wal-Mart drives on

Retailer back in favour on Wall Street after same store sales rise in March.
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Wal-Mart saw its shares reach their highest level since November 2004 on Wall Street yesterday, after it revealed its same store sales rose in March.

The retail giant also increased its estimate for its first quarter earnings to a range of 74 to 76 cents a share, from a previous range of 70 to 74 cents.

Wal-Mart said that same store sales rose by 1.1 per cent in March - not a dramatic increase, but still much better than its peers (Target slid 4.4 per cent last month, while JC Penney dropped by 12.3 per cent).

In the US, sales were driven by grocery, health and wellness and entertainment sectors. While overall apparel performance was affected by cold weather, licensed apparel actually performed well.

In the UK, Asda's sales were ahead of plan, driven by high traffic and the Easter seaon, with the strongest performances in confectionery, fresh foods, children's wear and video games.

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