United States
Wal-Mart has reported an 11.2% increase in Q3 net profit to $2.65bn (£1.4bn) on sales up 12% at $83.5bn. Like-for-like sales at its US stores rose 1.5%, with net sales up 9.9% at $3.64bn. International sales rose 33.7% to $19.2bn, with net income up 18.1% to $997m. "Although sales in the US were softer than we hoped for in the third quarter, there are real opportunities in the fourth quarter to build on the momentum of the aggressive pricing strategy we have implemented in our stores for the holiday season," said Lee Scott, president and CEO of Wal-Mart.

Lidl will make its debut in Croatia next week when it opens 13 stores in the country, with plans to add another two by the end of the year. Further stores will be opened in 2007.

Thailand's new military-backed government has banned alcohol advertising in the country from 1 December. The ban will cover all television, radio, print and outdoor advertising, with scope to extend the ban to branded items such as beer mats, on-shelf displays and clothing in the future. The measure is designed to curb alcohol consumption and underage drinking, said public health minister Mongkol Na Songkla.

Coles Myer has reported weaker than expected Q1 sales for the 13 weeks to 29 October. Group sales rose 3.2% to AU$8.5bn (£3.4bn), while food sales rose 5.1% to AU$5.1bn. Non-food sales were up 2.2%. Like-for-like sales growth at its core food and alcohol business was 3.3%.

United States
Supervalu has announced plans to invest $1bn in opening new stores and remodelling existing ones next year. As part of the Premium Fresh & Healthy programme, produce, meat, seafood, bakery and deli departments will be expanded, while international foods and organic departments will be added, the retailer said. New stores will be included in the programme, as would the majority of major refurbishments in the next year, it added.

The Netherlands
Ahold has completed the acquisition of nearly all Konmar stores in the Netherlands from Laurus. Out of the 29 Konmar stores, 27 stores are now included in the Ahold group. Some 21 stores will fall under Ahold's Albert Heijn fascia, while six will be operated by Ahold's subsidiary Schuitema. Conversion of the stores has started, with the first stores expected to open by the end of the month.

Metro has reported a 33% increase in net profit to CA$253m (£117m) in the year to 30 September, on sales up 64.7% at CA$10.9bn. Its acquisition of A&P Canada in July 2005 from The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company boosted figures, the supermarket group said. The company will modernise its retail network next year and is conducting research to improve its offering, which could include franchising some stores, said CEO Pierre Lessard.