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Complete this report with the terms from Exercises I and II.
In our home markets it has been another excellent year. …………. are up by £23 million, and the …………. for 5he next quarter is equally good. Profits from abroad are down because of a ……….. in Japan. However, our performance overall has been good, and the ………… have increased to 26.4p and the …………. will be increased to 4.3p per share, which will please our shareholders.
We plan to issue new …………… in order to finance expansion in Asia. We also plan to increase our ………….. in plant and equipment before entering the Chinese market. We are particularly pleased with our performance in France and Germany where …………. have increased. As a result of using a new distributor, our costs fell giving us a ………….. of 40 percent on our main product line. We will use any extra cash to reduce the level of our …………… .
Our performance in Italy should improve significantly following the …………….. of our biggest competitor. However, we should not become too satisfied with our share price as economic conditions remain uncertain and the ……………. will continue to reflect this. Share prices will not rise in the short term.
Before you read the articles decide which of these statements are true.
1. Both Wal·Mart and Target Stores are based in the UK.
2. Wal·Mart is the world's largest retailer.
3. Target is not a competitor of Wal-Mart.
Work in pairs. Student A reads Article 1 below and Student B reads Article 2 on page 3. Complete the parts of the chart on page 5 which relate to your article.
By Lauren Foster
Wal-Mart yesterday really surprised investors when it sounded a strong note of optimism. This optimism is a marked turnaround from three months ago when Wal-Mart warned about the strength of the recovery in US consumer spending.
Lee Scott, the CEO, said: 'I am more optimistic about the year we have just
started than I have been in several years. I am not only optimistic about the economy and the continuing strength of the housing market but also encouraged about Wal-Mart's position.'
Mr. Scott was also encouraged by consumer spending, which he said was driven by higher tax refunds and 'eventually improvements in the jobs picture'.
The world's largest retailer by revenues said fourth-quarter profits rose 11 percent to $2.7bn, or 63 cents a share, compared with $2.5bn, or 56 cents a share over a year ago. Revenues for the quarter increased 12.2 percent to $74.5bn.
For the full year, Wal-Mart's profits jumped 13.3 percent to $8.9bn or $2.03 a share, up from $7.8bn. Revenues increased 11.6 percent from $229.6bn to $256.3bn. International sales were strong, contributing about $7bn to the near $27bn gain in overall sales.
Mr Scott said Wal-Mart had a good year but the international division had an excellent year.
He stressed that, while gross margin was better than originally forecast, the improvement was thanks to the mix of merchandise, not higher prices. 'We are not raising prices and have no intention of doing so,' Mr Scott said.
From the Financial Times
By Lauren Foster
Target yesterday beat Wall Street expectations when it delivered a 21.1 percent rise in quarterly earnings.
Gains in Target's credit card business, as well as both its Target Stores division and Marshall Field's stores, offset a small drop in pre-tax profit at the Mervyn's department store chain.
Target has cultivated a more upmarket and style-conscious image than other discount retailers. It is the third-largest general retailer in the US by revenues.
Target yesterday said it saw continued price pressure from rival WalMart. For the fourth quarter, Target's profit rose to $832m, or 91 cents a share, compared with $688m, or 75 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts had expected Target to earn 87 cents a share, according to Reuters Research.
Revenues for the quarter rose 10.7 percent to $15.57bn from $14.06bn, 35 while same-store sales - from stores open at least a year - rose 4.9 percent.
Target said pre-tax profit soared 18.5 percent at Target Stores. At the department stores, which have been ailing, pre-tax profit jumped 15.6 percent at Marshall Field's but fell 0.3 percent at Mervyn's.
Credit card operations added $168m to pre-tax profit in the recent quarter, up 11.7 percent from a year ago.
For the full year, Target's profits were $1.84bn, or $2.01 a share, up 11.4 percent from $1.65bn, or 55 $1.81 a share, the year before. Revenues rose 9.7 percent to $48.16bn from $43.91bn, driven by new stores, a 2.9 percent rise in same-store sales and growth in credit revenues.
From the Financial Times
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