Mexican retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico (Walmex) has posted a drop in net profit for the second quarter as expected, although EBITDA and sales growth remained strong.

Walmex, which is majority owned by US retail giant Wal-Mart, said net profit fell 4% to 937m pesos (US$90.1m) in the second quarter, due to a one-time tax charge of 166m pesos.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast, on average, a net profit decline of just over 1%.

Walmex said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 11% compared to the year-ago period, in line with analysts’ expectations.

Total sales rose 10.5% to 27.68bn pesos, while same-store sales rose 5.2%.

Without the one-time tax charge, which was related to merchandise that was destined for export but sold on the domestic market by “people far from the company”, Walmex said net profit would have risen 12.6% in the quarter.

The retailer said it has opened 13 new stores this year. In February the company announced it would open 61 new stores by June 2004.