Wal-Mart de Mexico, the Central American country’s largest retailer, has reported rising quarterly sales and earnings for the first three months of 2009.

The company, in which Wal-Mart holds a majority stake, said yesterday (14 April) that net sales rose 8% to MXN61.42bn (US$4.67bn) with operating income also up 8% at MXN4.72bn.

Comparable-store sales rose by 1% during the three-month period, while net income rose 6% to MXN3.46bn.

President and CEO Eduardo Solorzano said: “I would like to highlight that despite the effect on our sales of both the current environment and the adverse calendar, we managed to increase gross margin and maintain our discipline in expenses.”

In February, Walmex said it planned to spend MXN11.8bn on opening 252 new stores as the company expands into new cities in the country.