BENTONVILLE, ARK. — Consumers responded favorably to reduced food prices at Walmart Inc. late in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31. In the current fiscal year, more consumers should have the opportunity to receive food items, along with other Walmart products, via delivery drones.

Fiscal-year net income of $15.51 billion, equal to $5.76 per share on the common stock, was up 33% from $11.68 billion, or $4.29 per share, in the previous fiscal year. Revenues increased 6% to $648.13 billion from $611.29 billion.

“In food, prices are lower than a year ago in places like eggs, apples and deli snacks, but higher in other places like asparagus and blackberries,” said C. Douglas McMillon, president and chief executive officer, in a Feb. 20 earnings call. “Dry grocery and consumables categories, like paper goods and cleaning supplies, are up mid-single digits versus last year and high teens versus two years ago. Private brand penetration is up in many of the countries where we operate, including the United States.”

Significant rollbacks on food pricing in Walmart US came in the fourth quarter, he said.

John R. Furner, CEO and president of Walmart US, added, “We took our french bread back to $1, which had been $1 for a long time and went up as inflation hit the market, and we’re seeing results of that running about 40% over last year. So customers immediately responded. Rotisserie chicken is another one. That price has come down by $1.”

 McMillon spoke on Walmart’s drone progress.

“We already offer express delivery in the US where customers can get their orders delivered fast, but what if you need something faster?” he said. “There’s a pot of chili on the stove, and you realize you forgot chili seasoning. Drone delivery can get it to you in 15 minutes or less.

“Delivering by drone isn’t new to us. Over the last two years, we’ve operated 37 hubs across seven states, completing 20,000 deliveries. By the end of the year, we’ll make it available to about 75% of households in Dallas-Fort Worth.”

In Walmart US, net sales for the year increased 5% to $441.8 billion from $420.6 billion. The business segment gained market share in grocery and general merchandise, primarily among higher-income households.

In Walmart International, net sales increased 14% to $114.6 billion from $101 billion. In Sam’s Club, net sales increased 2.2% to $86.2 billion from $84.3 billion. Sam’s Club gained dollar and unit market share in grocery, according to Nielsen.

In the fourth quarter companywide, Bentonville-based Walmart had net income of $5.49 billion, or $2.04 per share on the common stock, which was down 12% from $6.28 billion, or $2.33 per share, in the same time of the previous year. Revenue increased 6% to $173.39 billion from $164.05 billion.

Walmart’s outlook for the current fiscal year forecasts growth in constant currency of 3% to 4% in net sales and 4% to 6% in operating income.