US grocery retailer Albertsons has posted a fall in quarterly profit, hit by competition from Wal-Mart and weak sales.

The Boise, Idaho-based company reported earnings of US$162m, or 44 cents a share, for the second quarter to 31 July, compared to earnings of $257m, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Reuters had been expecting, on average, earnings of 42 cents a share.

The retailer’s total second-quarter sales edged up 1% to $9.05bn, while comparable store sales slid 0.9%. Identical store sales declined 1.3%.