Turning to Walmart's 2.2 million associates worldwide, Duke highlighted that global associate engagement scores are currently at their highest mark ever, the company has hired more than 16,000 veterans in the U.S. in less than six months, and some of the best talent anywhere is excited about joining Walmart. "I feel better than ever about our talented associates and the career opportunities we provide at Walmart," said Duke. "The quality of the leaders we're recruiting is just incredible."
Duke also said that he was very pleased with the work the company has done to make a difference on big issues around the world. "We've only accelerated in the past year -- with our commitments on renewable energy, to reduce certain chemicals in products and to help revitalize manufacturing in the U.S," said Duke. "We set the pace for how companies take on big issues facing society, and we'll keep leading because it's good for our business."
Winning in Any Retail Environment
Duke closed his opening remarks by sharing his overall view on Walmart's global business and where it's headed: "Even in a tough and unpredictable economy, there is strength in our businesses around the world. We're making substantial progress in areas that are the foundation for long-term growth and shareholder returns. And whether I'm meeting with the leadership team in the Home Office, or walking stores and clubs in any market, I see a team that's disciplined, focused and executing on the fundamentals. Walmart will win."About Walmart Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our more than 11,000 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmartnewsroom. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com. Forward-looking statement This release contains statements that Walmart believes are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, that are intended to enjoy the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by that Act. Except as noted below, these forward-looking statements are identified by use of the words or phrases "will continue," "could improve," "will deliver," "is to deliver," and "will keep" or a variation of the foregoing words or phrases in these statements, in the descriptions of certain assumptions on which expectations, forecasts or projections discussed in this release are based. The forward-looking statements discuss, among other things: management's expectations to deliver consistent growth and returns to the Company's shareholders for many years, management's statement that the company can improve even in places where the company is already doing well in Walmart International, management's expectation to deliver a solid framework for future growth and improve returns, management's goal to deliver leverage in fiscal year 2014, and management's expectation to continue to lead on how companies take on big issues facing society. These forward-looking statements and the information in the charts described above are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, domestically and internationally, including general economic conditions, including the effects of the current economic situation, competitive pressures, geopolitical conditions and events, inflation, deflation, consumer confidence, credit availability, spending patterns and debt levels, currency exchange fluctuations, unemployment and partial employment rates, personal income and other tax rates, trade restrictions, availability of attractive investment opportunities in non- United States markets, availability of appropriate locations for new or relocated units, local real estate and other laws, ordinances, legal restrictions and initiatives that may prevent the company from building or relocating, or that impose limitations on the company's ability to build or relocate, stores in certain locations, availability of persons with the necessary skills and abilities necessary to meet the company's needs for managing and staffing its new stores and conducting its operations, including in the e-commerce area, availability of necessary utilities, weather conditions, availability of skilled labor, labor, material and other construction costs, insurance costs, operating expenses, fluctuations in market rates of interest and other capital market conditions, and other factors and risks. The company discusses certain of these matters more fully in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended January 31, 2013, and this release should be read in conjunction with that Annual Report on Form 10-K and together with all of the company's other filings, including its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8- K, made with the SEC through the date of this release. You are urged to consider all of these risks, uncertainties and other factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements contained in this release. As a result of these matters, including changes in facts, assumptions not being realized or other circumstances, the actual implementation of the company's operating and other plans by one or more of its operating segments, its actual capital expenditures, unit growth, and square footage growth in one or more of its operating segments, the formats of the units built, the conversion of discount stores to supercenters by the Walmart U.S. segment, the focus of the company's expansion and sales and operating income growth may differ materially from the expected results and the plans described in these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this release are made only as of the date of this release, and the company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.