Thai discount retailer Siam Makro has posted a better-than-expected 1.7% rise in first-quarter net profit.

Siam Makro reported first-quarter net profit of 189.7m baht (US$4.5m), compared to 187m baht in the year-ago period. Analysts had forecast first-quarter net profit of around 181m baht.

The retailer’s sales fell 4.5% year-on-year to 8.86bn baht.

Siam Makro said it planned to open only two new stores in 2003.