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Wal-Mart off to a good start in fiscal 2008

Wal-Mart Stores, ranked third in the Home Channel News Top 500, posted first-quarter earnings of $3.022 billion, up 6.9 percent from $2.862 billion in the same quarter last year.

The company’s U.S. same-store sales, not counting fuel, increased 2.9 percent in the quarter, as total sales increased 10.2 percent to $94.1 billion.

“We’re off to a solid start, with record first-quarter sales and earnings,” said Lee Scott, Wal-Mart Stores president and CEO. He added: “Our business is even more relevant to our customers today, given the current economic pressures.”

Total sales in the Bentonville, Ark.-based company’s international division grew the fastest in the quarter -- up 22 percent to $23.937 billion. Sales at Sam’s Clubs grew 7.6 percent to 11.112 billion, and sales at Wal-Mart Stores increased 6.6 percent to $59.073 billion.