US retail giant Wal-Mart, which owns Asda in the UK, has reported "relatively flat" income growth in its international division.

The group said that in the second quarter international income rose by 0.3%, hit by a $36m charge to restructure operations at Asda.

It added that Asda's total sales for the quarter were in the "low single digits" and like-for-like sales were flat, although general merchandising and clothing had performed well.

Wal-Mart also reported record group net profits of $2.8bn up from $2.7bn the year before.

Despite this increase, chief executive, Lee Scott, warned that the company had not met its plan for the quarter because of rising fuel prices.

Scott said: “The only real economic concern I have is that oil prices will erase improvements in employment and real income for a portion of our customer base. So I anticipate we will face challenges as the year proceeds.”

Tom Schoewe, Wal-Mart’s chief executive added that soaring fuel prices meant that the retailer had spent an additional $30m moving goods to its stores in the quarter.

The cost of providing light and power to its network had also increased by more than $100m.

Topics