Portuguese supermarket company Jeronimo Martins has reported a 78% increase in first-half profit, despite a fall in sales.

The company posted net profit of €30.3m (US$36.4m) for the first six months of the year, compared to €17.1m in the year-ago period. Analysts had been expecting, on average, profit of €29.3m, reported Reuters.

Jeronimo Martins said its sales slid to €1.62bn from €1.64bn a year earlier, reflecting the assets sales that formed part of its restructuring. Like-for-like sales rose 1.3%.

The retailer said it expected strong competition and a weak economy to continue throughout the second half.

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