Wal-Mart profits plummet in fourth quarter

Despite covering the holiday season, Wal-Mart’s fourth-quarter profits fell 21 per cent amidst fears that an economic slowdown is likely to take its toll on lower-income customers worldwide.

The drop in profits announced by the world’s leading retailer Feb. 13 is the fourth consecutive quarter of decline for the company.

In addition to the slow economy, some stores were closed down due to the series of snow storms.

According to AP, Wal-Mart CEO and President Doug McMillon, the customers’ habits are changing fast and the retailer has to be flexible and adapt. The company operates over 4,000 stores in USA. McMillon said Wal-Martwill focus on daily low prices in its US stores and abroad.

The company, based in Bentonville, Ark., is aiming to speed up its growth plan under Neighborhood Market and Wal-Mart Express stores to serve shoppers looking for more convenience.

The company intends to open 270 to 300 small stores during the current fiscal year, double the initial forecast of 120 to 150 stores.

Tim Horton dividend up

Meanwhile, Tim Hortons Inc. increased its shareholder dividend by 23 per cent but, could manage only a small net profit in its fourth quarter. The coffee giant is struggling to maintain its market share in the wake of aggressive competition in coffee and breakfast market.

Net income went up to $100.6 million — or 69 cents per share — up 0.3 per cent from the same period last year. Profit was 10 cents short of the expected 76 cents per share. Overall revenue went up to $ 898 million for the three months ending Dec. 31, 2013.


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