Walmart braces for losses amid corruption probe

Walmart braces for losses amid corruption probe

US retail giant Walmart said Tuesday it expected to suffer financial losses amid an ongoing probe into corruption scandals involving foreign subsidiaries.

"We expect to continue to incur costs (in addition to the $157 million of costs incurred in fiscal 2013)," the company said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, citing ongoing investigations.

Walmart opened an internal probe last year after a New York Times report that alleged bribes worth $24 million had been paid to officials in Mexico as part of an expansion drive.

It later widened the probe to pursue corruption allegations against it in India, Brazil and China, in addition to the US and Mexican government investigations over its Mexico activities.

The company said in its SEC filing it was unable to estimate the scale of the possible losses.
"While we believe that it is probable that we will incur a loss from these matters, given the ongoing nature and complexity of the review, inquiries and investigations, we cannot reasonably estimate any loss or range of loss that may arise from these matters," it said.

"Although we do not believe that these matters will have a material adverse effect on our business, given the inherent uncertainties in such situations, we can provide no assurance that these matters will not be material to our business in the future."