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Mexican retailer Comerci reports profit up 24 percent

MEXICO CITY, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Mexican supermarket chain Comercial Mexicana on Wednesday said its third-quarter profit climbed 24 percent, helped by higher sales and lower financing costs.

The company, which operates upscale grocery stores, budget warehouse formats and restaurants, reported a quarterly profit of 549 million pesos ($42 million), compared to 441 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 its debt.

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

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

Comerci in August reduced its outlook for 2013 on lower consumer spending. The company now expects 2013 sales to end up 3.3 percent from the year earlier at 44.176 billion pesos ($3.36 billion).

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