By Anthony Harrup
MEXICO CITY -- Retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB saw a slight decline in third-quarter net profit as higher taxes and expenses offset an increase in sales.
Walmex, as the unit of Arkansas-based Walmart Inc. is known, made a net profit of 9.17 billion Mexican pesos ($437 million) for the July-September period, down 0.9% from the year-earlier quarter.
Sales rose 6.7% to 165.34 billion pesos, with same-store sales up 5.4% in Mexico and down 6% in Central America. Operating profit rose 3% to 13.78 billion pesos, while taxes increased 13% and general expenses were up 9.4%.
As people continued to spend more time at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, Walmex saw strong sales of food and articles for the home, chief executive Guilherme Loureiro said in a webcast presentation of the results.
Tablet and computer sales were strong since schools remain closed except for online and televised lessons, although overall the back-to-school season was weaker than usual with soft demand for supplies and uniforms. Clothing sales have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, he added.
Online sales tripled from a year earlier and accounted for 3.8% of total sales in Mexico during the quarter, he said.
Walmex shares closed up 2.2% Thursday on the Mexican stock exchange ahead of the report.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires