In 2012 year, Wal-Mart delivered a strong financial performance. Net sales increased by 5.9 percent to $443.9 billion, and consolidated operating income grew by 4 percent to $26.6 billion. Our diluted earnings per share from continuing operations attributable to Wal-Mart were $4.54 per share, up from $4.18 the previous year. We leveraged operating expenses for two consecutive years. Our strong financial position is best illustrated by our ability to grow. We added 52.2 million square feet through 1,160 additional units, including acquisitions in the U.K. and South Africa. In one of its historically largest purchase operations, American retail giant Wal-Mart bought 51% of South African retailer Massmart in May 2011 by paying US$ 2.4 billion. Massmart sells in 14 African countries, but the majority of its operations are in South Africa (265 retail stores in South Africa versus 25 in the other 13 countries. The Massmart group is based in Johannesburg and includes Game, Dion Wired, Makro, Builder’s Warehouse and Masscash. Wal-Mart’s revenues stand above the US$ 400 billion mark, over South Africa’s GDP of approximately US$ 350 billion. They operate in 14 countries apart from the US, have a procurement division that employs 1,400 individuals, and work with 6,000 factories all over the world but mainly from China. The transaction reflects Wal-Mart’s clear intention of profiting from the opportunities of a country with a sharp increase in consumer spending power and where the supermarket buying experience reaches almost all socio-economic levels of the population.
Given the opposing views and relatively pacific protests of local unions and the high rate of unemployment, South Africa’s antitrust commission approved the takeover, imposing some general conditions to protect local jobs: no job cuts will be conducted for two years after the takeover, existing labor agreements will be honored for the next three years and US$ 14.6 million will be oriented towards...
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