Mexican retailer Comerci reports profit up 24 percent


MEXICO CITY, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Mexican supermarket chainComercial Mexicana on Wednesday said its third-quarter profitclimbed 24 percent, helped by higher sales and lower financingcosts.

The company, which operates upscale grocerystores, budget warehouse formats and restaurants, reported aquarterly profit of 549 million pesos ($42 million), compared to441 million pesos ($33.53 million) in the year-earlier period,according to a filing with the Mexican stock exchange.

Financing costs fell nearly 88 million pesos ($6.7 million)from the same quarter last year after the company trimmed itsdebt.

Revenue rose 4.4 percent to 12.745 billion pesos ($969million). The company said steep discounts in July helped offsetweaker consumer demand. The firm said sales at stores open morethan a year rose 2.3 percent compared to a drop in so-calledsame-store sales seen by other retailers during the period.

The company's larger rival, Walmex, earlier onWednesday said that third-quarter profit rose slightly but itssame-store sales fell 2.9 percent due to the soft economy.

Comerci in August reduced its outlook for 2013 on lowerconsumer spending. The company now expects 2013 sales to end up3.3 percent from the year earlier at 44.176 billion pesos ($3.36billion).

Shares in Comerci closed down 1.45 percent at 53.58 pesosbefore the company reported its third-quarter results.

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