By Anthony Harrup

MEXICO CITY--Retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico posted a 14% increase in first-quarter net profit as sales rose in both Mexico and Central America.

Walmex, as the unit of Arkansas-based Walmart is known, reported net profit of 13.18 billion Mexican pesos ($772 million) for the January-March period, up from 11.52 billion pesos in the year-earlier quarter. First-quarter earnings were equivalent to 0.756 pesos a share.

Sales grew 9.8% to 226.19 billion pesos. A positive calendar effect contributed 2.5 percentage points to sales growth, which was partially offset by the stronger Mexican peso, Walmex said Wednesday. The first quarter this year included the Easter holiday week in March and an extra leap-year day in February.

Same-store sales, excluding stores opened in the past year, rose 9.4% in Mexico with a 5.3% increase in customer traffic and 4.1% rise in average ticket. In Central America, same-store sales rose 8% with 5.7% more customers spending on average 2.4% more per visit.

General expenses rose 12% on higher labor costs and strategic investments, including new stores. The company opened nine stores in Mexico and three in Central America during the quarter.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 10% on the year to 24.62 billion pesos.

Write to Anthony Harrup at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-24-24 1746ET