updated 9/11/2007 8:03:45 AM ET 2007-09-11T12:03:45

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reduced its reported second-quarter profit by $153 million due to expenses from selling its German retail operations, the world’s largest retailer reported Monday.

In a regulatory filing, Wal-Mart said the added cost reduced its earnings per share for the quarter that ended July 31 to 72 cents from the 76 cents it originally reported Aug. 14. That compares with 50 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

The charge reduced net profit for the quarter to $2.95 billion from the $3.1 billion previously reported.

Wal-Mart said the late charge came after “recent nonbinding discussions with Metro at the end of August 2007.” Germany’s Metro AG agreed last year to buy Wal-Mart’s German operations.

Wal-Mart, in its filing, called the new charge a “post-closing adjustment.”

Wal-Mart spokesman John Simley said the Bentonville-based retailer was not aware of the added charge when it reported second-quarter earnings in mid-August.

“It is an adjustment due to the disposal of the German operation,” Simley said.

Metro bought Wal-Mart’s 85 sites in Germany last year for an undisclosed sum as Wal-Mart quit Germany and South Korea after years of losses in both of those countries.

Wal-Mart remains active outside of its largest market, the United States.

It has stores in 13 countries in Central America, Asia, Britain and Canada. This year it struck a deal to expand its China retail business by buying a 35 percent stake in discount chain Trust-Mart. It has also agreed to agreed to a joint venture in India with that country’s Bharti Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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