Less than a month after exiting the German market and three months after leaving South Korea, Wal-Mart's Japanese subsidiary Seiyu has reported that its half-year net loss widened to JPY54.03bn (£246m) from JPY10.59bn a year earlier, on sales down 2.9% to JPY467.94bn.

The loss was blamed on restructuring costs and weaker revenue.

However, Ed Kolodzieski, chief executive officer of Seiyu, denied reports that Wal-Mart could leave the country. “Japan is a key market [for Wal-Mart] and has growth opportunities,” he said.