The Walton family is likely to have benefited from the boost in earnings in the second quarter 2010 at the family-controlled retailer, Walmart.
The world's biggest retailer reported a 3.6% year-on-year rise in earnings to $3.6bn, despite being hit by weaker sales. Like for like sales at its 3,500 supercentres had fallen 1.8% during the second quarter against a year ago.
Walmart's share price has risen, albeit erratically, since hitting a low of just under $43 in September 2007, and was trading at $51 on August 17th when the retailer announced its second quarter numbers.
The Walton family still control around 40% of the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer, which prides itself on its slogan: "saving people money to help them live better".
Christy Walton – the wife of the late John Walton, who was the son of the founder Sam Walton – is the wealthiest, according to Forbes. Her family's fortune was estimated at $22.5bn.
Jim Walton, the youngest son of Sam Walton, was the second family member on the Forbes billionaire list, with an estimated fortune of $20.7bn.
His elder brother Rob Walton (pictured), with an estimated fortune of $19.8bn, is chairman of Walmart.
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